Although there are many attempts in halting childhood obesity, these attempts have not been truly effective. Many children that come from low-income families depend on school lunches. However they have yet to become satisfactory in many other states such as New York.
Obesity is defined by Webster-Merriam Dictionary as a condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body. On the other hands doctors would find out what a persons Body Mass Index (BMI) is in order to discover if the person is obese or not. The BMI is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared, then compared to BMI growth charts (Donahue, Grisso, Orleans, and Paxon, 6). BMI growth charts are based on national data collected between 1963 and 1994 (Chang, Kumanyika, Link, Miech, Phelan, and Stettler, 2386). If a child is above the 85th percentile for age and sex, he or she is at risk of becoming overweight, but above the 95th percentile means that the he or she is obese.
Marketing activities of junk food companies for products such as potato chips, sodas, and candy provide a reason for the high number of obese children in low-income families. The Kaiser Foundation reported that children from ages eight to eighteen, of ethnic minority families, are exposed to entertainment media more heavily than others (Grier and Kumanyika, 191-192). This means that these children are exposed to a large amount of food advertising at home. A study using Latino preschoolers were able to confirm how influential these commercials are. In the study, 55% of mothers said that their child asked for an advertised food or drink while 67% reported that their child asked to go to a televised store or restaurant (Borzekowki and Poussaint). This exposure to media affects the type of food that children would want to eat and does nothing to inform them about nutritional issues.
With many low-income families, there is a struggle to keep food on the table. T View More »