Obesity is defined as an excessive amount of body fat.  Body fat is then measured by body mass index or BMI. Obesity in America has been a large issue that has affected many of us in all sorts of different ways.  One of the main concerns with obesity in general is childhood obesity because it has been at a steady increase since the 1980s. Obesity can cause many health risks even at a young age. If a child is overweight he or she will more than likely become an obese adult. Some health risks that can be caused by obesity are heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and a few different forms of cancer. Besides the genetics of ones being, obesity at a young age is mainly caused by lack of knowledge or lack of the ability to acquire healthier foods.

Children will usually eat whatever their parents give them. They will also learn their eating habits from their families along with schools. Some children will get the luxury of a home cooked meal every night; other will have whatever is convenient for the parents at that time. As we know it is a lot easier just picking up fast food than having to buy ingredients and make a meal from scratch. Even if the food is prepared at home from scratch the location of where the ingredients are bought could have a large effect on how healthy the meal will be.  Markets range from local supermarkets to a larger chain like Whole Foods, ACME, Shoprite, or Costco. The planning and location of specific supermarkets in neighborhoods is very important.  In some situations one may not be able to get to an organic or fresh supermarket due to limited mobility. This will typically happen in a city type area. Planners have a large part in controlling what kind of food and fresh produce is available to people.  If there is healthy food within reach I believe most people would try to eat healthier.  The easiest way to do this would to have public transportation take you close to the super market.  Another issue that occurs is pricing of the food. Sometimes food that is healthier is more expensive than food that is not as healthy. Money comes greatly into play in this obesity issue.  Some people can’t afford to pay the extra money to not only get to the healthier food, but to then purchase it, when they could simply go to any fast food chain that is more easily accessible and cheaper.

In order to prevent children obesity and make healthier foods more accessible and cheaper, one must take a few things into consideration. Planners should pay close attention to the accessibility of healthier markets, meaning public transportation and having the market within walking distance for as many people as possible. Another way to help prevent childhood obesity is to education children in schools and at home. Lastly making the food and produce come from local providers will help keep the prices more affordable.

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