A Matter of Life or Breadth | Teen Ink

A Matter of Life or Breadth

October 30, 2008
By Anonymous

America’s next generation is growing at an alarming rate, horizontally. The obesity rate for kids aged between six and eleven years has tripled over the past three decades! Many factors contribute to this growing statistic, such as economic issues, lack of exercise in a day-day life, and bad information, although I think the most important factor is the huge popularity of fast food. In a society where our days are jam packed with one thing after another, the easiest, quickest, and cheapest way to eat, is fast food. The problem with this is that fast food is extremely high in calories, fats, and other unhealthy ingredients. The solution to America’s problem will not be immediate, it will take years of effort to teach kids how to eat and exercise well, but some things are worth the weight.

Imagine this: Year 210 PM (post walking). Hyper capitalism, fast food, and technological advances have allowed the World’s population to be free of walking. Everyone moves around on hovering La-Z-boys. The surface of the world is covered in a crust of trash, which people discard freely when they are finished with their current snack. The average life span in this future is twenty-nine due to diabetes and heart failure. All progress, scientific, artistic, and educational, has come to a complete standstill. There are no wars in this world because there is no motivation to do anything. Human development has come to a halt; all that is left for humans is the food. Although exaggerated, the world I have portrayed may be closer to our future than we would like to imagine.

In order to prevent the disturbing picture aforementioned, we must address some of the social causes of our problem. During today’s troubled economic times, families are put under ever increasing pressure to spend less time and money on meals. What is the simple solution to this? Eat at your local McDonald’s. Even a country such as Greece, which is famous for its extremely healthy, Mediterranean diet, is falling prey to the shadow of fast food. Fast Food chains are using their newfound appeal to capitalize and expand their empires, at the great cost of our nation’s health.

The picture to the right is taken from a government health report showing that organizing kids’ free time could be a solution to the obesity epidemic. According to the chart, children whose time is organized have almost half the obesity rate of children who have too much free time on their hands. Children who have the free time are more likely to be bored and boredom can lead to snacking without realizing it. Therefore kids should be more involved in healthy activities that will help them stave off the curse of obesity.

This is just one of many ways America could combat this problem. Another would be to enforce stricter health laws, or to somewhat rein in the amount of fats and grease that goes into fast food. Also the government could increase school funding to allow schools to pay for healthier lunch choices, or schools could start programs that teach kids how to live a healthy lifestyle. If kids are better informed about the costs of eating fast food and the benefits of living healthily, then they will be more likely to make good choices. I think America is ready to lose some weight.
Picture taken from government health reports:

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