Childhood Obesity: A Heavy Burden – Research Proposal Example
Childhood Obesity: A Heavy Burden
Just when America thinks that the economy and the health care system have hit an all-time low, more bad news to exasperate the problem mounts. Childhood obesity rates have hit epidemic proportions in the United States with no quick panacea in sight. The dilemma permeating our schools not only poses an extreme toll to the health of youth, but to the financial system, as well. This paper will explore this problem, provide research to back the claim that this problem exists, and explore solutions that can help mitigate the current crisis. The claim, or thesis, of this research paper will be that the epidemic of childhood obesity in America has been escalating over the past several decades, and preventative measures must be taken in order to improve our nation’s health and take a huge burden off of our economy.
This research proposal launches the commencement of a paper that will expose the problem of the burgeoning obesity of children in the United States, divulge its causes – from sedentary lifestyles to poor diet to lack of education – and propose solutions toward reestablishing the health of our youth. Public schools are the breeding grounds for obese children, and teachers must emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyles to students through both instruction and example, (Spruijit-Metz, 2011, p. 130). But has America always had this problem with obesity? The answer is no. In fact, from 1960 to our present time, childhood obesity rates have more than tripled, soaring from 5 percent to 16.9 percent (Larrier, Bakerson, Linton, Walker, Woolford, 2011, p. 129). And when this generation is grows up and its metabolisms slow down, this rate will double likely double for them − if they reflect today’s obesity rate amongst American adults, which is at 33.8 percent, (Ogden & Carroll, 2008). Some ethnic groups, such as Hispanics are over-represented in the obesity rates, and much has to do with diet and low incomes, (Winter & Sass, 201, p. 305). This crisis that is seen through accelerated rates of obesity that has risen for 50 years must be addressed by society. There is a direct correlation between obesity and health problems such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes, and health care costs to treat these problems have reached epic proportions. In 2008, $147 billion was spent in medical costs to treat health problems due to obesity, and $116 billion was spent to care for diabetes in 2007, (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). My research will continue to delve into information retrieved both online and at public libraries, including scholarly journals found on ERIC and government reports. The data I have already accumulated provides evidence that the crisis of childhood obesity exists and that substantive measures must be taken from within our public schools to counter this deadly and costly trend. With more than 50 million students currently attending public schools in America, teachers, administrators, counselors, and other school personnel can do much to help this nation’s youth get back into healthy lifestyles. My statistically backed analysis will explain this problem and offer reasonable and attainable solutions, all supporting the main argument of this paper. This research paper will set out to prove that the current trend of obesity that has tripled since the early 1960s has resulted in the accelerated health problems and great financial burden experienced within our nation, but that this trend can be stemmed and reversed by augmenting instruction in public classrooms that will provide students with the essential guiding standards that will lead them to healthy lifestyles. It is important to identify this problem so that a well planned, reasoned, and effective solution can be put into action before the health of this nation’s youth falls into an irreparable decline, along with the economy.
After a thorough examination of the problem through research and statistics backing the aforementioned claim, this paper will identify the cause and propose logical solutions to the crisis in which this nation finds itself. This dilemma needs to be discussed, exposed, and remedied in order for America to get back on track and become the healthy and economically sound nation it once was. Ignoring this crisis will prove to have dire consequences on society in more ways than one. Setting achievable goals and implementing them within schools through effective and well organized programs will be a step in the right direction toward getting children back on track to setting healthy lifestyles that will follow them throughout life. Living a healthy life is part of being a good citizen with responsible behavior, and giving students strategic plans in school to reach this standard will prove to curb today’s obesity rates. Part of being a thriving society is being a healthy society, and this paper will show that failing to set forth action steps and augment children’s instruction on healthy living will have deleterious effects on society at large, and only by exposing the problem and exploring solutions can we resuscitate this nation from its downward spiral.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). “U.S. Obesity Trends.” Retrieved from
Ezendam, N.P.M., Springer, A.E., Brug, J., Oenema, A., & Hoelscher, D.H. (2011, July,
August). Do Trends in Physical, Sedentary, and Dietary Behaviors Support Trends in Obesity Prevalence in 2 Border Regions in Texas?” Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 43 (4), 210-218. Retrieved from http://www.jneb.org/article/S1499-4046(09)00443-6/fulltext.
Larrier, Y.I., Bakerson, M.A., Linton, J.M., Walker, L.R., & Woolford, S.J. (2011). “The Role
of School Counselors in Childhood Obesity.” Journal of School Counseling, 9 (3), 1-31. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/EJ914273.pdf.
Ogden, C. & Carroll, M. (2008). “Prevalence of Obesity among Children and Adolescents:
United States, Trends 1963-1965 through 2007-2008.” Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/obesity_child_07_08/obesity_child_07_08.pdf.
Spruijt-Metz, D. (2011, March). “Etiology, Treatment, and Prevention of Obesity in
Childhood and Adolescence,” Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21 (1), 129-152. Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1532-7795.2010.00719.x/full.
Winter, S.M. & Sass, D.A. (2011). “Healthy & Ready to Learn: Examining the Efficacy of an
Early Approach to Obesity Prevention and School Readiness.” Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 25 (3), 304-325. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02568543.2011.580211.