An analysis of the obesity epidemic in the united states and the role of schools in creating a healt

National Center for Safe Routes to School Guideline 5 Implement Health Education that Provides Students with the Knowledge, Attitudes, Skills, and Experiences Needed for Lifelong Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Health education is integral to the mission of schools, providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to become successful learners and healthy adults. Strategies Require health education from pre-kindergarten through grade

An analysis of the obesity epidemic in the united states and the role of schools in creating a healt

When not in class, you can see her on the track or going on a run through the cornfields. As we well know by now, there is a growing obesity epidemic in the United States. Doctors, politicians, celebrities, and schoolteachers talk about it, and both the idea of obesity and its epidemic nature is fixed in our collective vocabulary.

Extra weight is associated with other health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, type two diabetes, and cancer. This has created strain on our healthcare system, economy, and even national defense, as well as a multi-billion dollar weight-loss industry.

The obesity epidemic is seen as a recent phenomenon. So when did weight become a health problem? When did obesity become an epidemic?

There have been several distinct stages of thinking about weight and health since the Second Industrial Revolution. At the turn of the twentieth century, concern about fitness was associated with masculinity, not weight or health.

Until World War II, there was little moral stigmatization of excess weight, but during the war and throughout the Cold War, undertones conflating excess weight with character weakness emerged. By this time, obesity was still seen as an individual health problem rather than an indication of greater societal problems.

This idea was reinforced during the s and s, when the concept of individualism pervaded American political culture. When obesity rates began to rise exponentially and political focus shifted away from individual responsibility, the situation began to be seen as a societal problem.

An analysis of the obesity epidemic in the united states and the role of schools in creating a healt

This is when obesity began to be constructed and medicalized as an epidemic. Although obesity rates did not start noticeably rising until the late s, the foundation was laid for it well before then.

As the United States has increased its agricultural productivity, there has been a gradual shift from agricultural to manufacturing and service economies.


The first major shift occurred during the Second Industrial Revolution, and was accompanied by large waves of migration to cities.

By the early s, more people lived in cities than on farms, and worked more in factories and offices than in agriculture. The rapid change caused the first national fitness scare. Americans were worried that their changing lifestyles would reduce American character and vigor.

To keep from getting soft, and because there was an increase of leisure time, American men began to do sports.Some people with extreme obesity suffer from depression. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment, as some anti-depressant medications can cause weight gain.

. The severity of the obesity epidemic in the United States was first observed and publicized with data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

public health agencies, schools, and community organizations should collaboratively develop and promote programs that encourage healthful eating behaviors and regular physical. Schools play a critical role in improving the dietary and physical activity behaviors of children and adolescents.

physical activity policies and programs will make a powerful contribution toward a healthy future for students in the United States. By adopting these nine guidelines, schools can help ensure that all students have the. In the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the s.

An analysis of the obesity epidemic in the united states and the role of schools in creating a healt

1 Data from show that nearly 1 in 5 school age children and young people (6 to 19 years) in the United States has obesity.

2 Obesity is defined as having excess body. The nation’s childhood obesity epidemic: Health disparities in the making This epidemic disproportionately affects ethnic minorities and those who live .

In the United States at least 1/3 of adults are obese and there’s been a 40% increase in the past 15 years in obesity in children, we obviously can call this an epidemic.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized it as well, as a pandemic.

We Must All Play a Role in Ending Childhood Obesity - RWJF