According to the CDC, 35.9 percent of the nation is obese. According to CNN “The health burden from high body mass indexes now exceeds that due to hunger”. In other words, there a now more annual deaths due to obesity than starvation around the world. Over consumption of foods containing saturated fats and empty carbohydrates is slowing killing our nation and is now affecting our youth.
Childhood obesity has reached 18 percent, an increase from the seven percent it was in 1980. Childhood obesity is not the fault of the child, but the fault of the parent. Children under the age of ten do not choose what they eat, how much they eat or when they eat; that is the parent’s responsibility. When children inherit bad eating habits from their parents, the habits tend to carry over into adulthood which adds to the adult obesity percentage. According to Yale Medicine, 65 percent of obese children end up being obese as adults.
College is the perfect time for unhealthy students to break free of the eating habits they have had their entire lives and establish their own healthy eating habits. College is the time in people’s lives where they are officially independent and finally have an opportunity to become their own individuals. This is the age where people are finally able to make their own decisions and become someone apart from their parents.
Since food and workout facilities are available on campus, students don’t have to go out of their way to live a healthier lifestyle. All meals served in the dining hall are served in correct portion sizes and there are fresh fruits and vegetables available at most hours of the day. Scotford Fitness Center is open and free to all students and has flexible hours that can fit into just about anyone’s schedule.
The age of young adulthood is the optimal time to break out of bad habits. Over consumption of unhealthy foods is categorized as an addiction and it is best to overcome addictions when there is support all around. Whitworth Health Center offers free counseling sessions to students, which can be helpful in gaining a positive self image.
On top of that, shows such as The Biggest Loser, can inspire students and show them that no matter how overweight they may be, they can lose weight and keep it off in a healthy way. The Biggest Loser also gives great health tips and weight bearing exercises that can be done in the comfort of one’s home.
There is an abundance of health support and information available to college students that they can take advantage of in order to decrease the obese percentage in the United States. The time is now to make a change in your life.