This essay "Childhood obesity in America" outlines the reasons and consequences of the eating disorders among kids. In America, about eighty percent of children who are between the age of four and five are found to be either obese or overweight. Certain curious aspects of the problem has been that girls are more prone to obesity here than boys and also the percentage is high among Mexican American children followed by non-Hispanic white children. Though usually the perceived culprits of obesity, according to prevailing common sense, are the child and the parents alone, this is truly not the case. The very fact that low-income and middle income children are more at risk is suggestive of an element of stigmatization working against them.
There is a kind of psychological suffocation act carried out by the media that creates the environment in favor of childhood obesity. The first element of this suffocation act is the “preoccupation” of the society as a whole, and media in particular, with food. Owing to this preoccupation, children from the very beginning of their awakening to social messages, get suffocated by one single message, “eat food!” The media always show fat toddlers as healthy toddlers in all the visual representations, whether it is news, views or advertisement and this is the realm where the suffocation acts extents to the parents as well. When the child reaches the age of making food choices on his/her own, the child gets exposed to advertisements on a range of attractive yet unhealthy food items.
(Schwartz and Puhl, 2003, p.58). Figures show that “children are exposed to an estimated 10000 advertisements for food per year, 95% of which are for fast foods, candy, sugared cereal and soft drinks” (Schwartz and Puhl, 2003, p.58). An important second aspect of this suffocation act is that sweets has been used as a very common reward given to a child for bringing about the “desired” behavioral change and even psychologists prescribe it (Schwartz and Puhl, 2003, p.58). Apart from this, parents are also influenced by the pressure that is put on them by advertisements which say that sweets, and processed food are a way to show your child and the society “how much you love” your children (Schwartz and Puh