“I’m trying to drop weight,” said my eight-year-old sister.When I was a kid we’d have one or two children in the class who were “overweight.” I was self-conscious back then too. But I never thought my confident, outgoing, little sister would say these words.
Children are commonly overweight. This is due to inactive lifestyles, according the Mayo Clinic. There is also less physical activity in school.
Access to fresh fruits and vegetables is another considerable factor. The CNN documentary “Black in America” highlighted the plight of inner city blacks and their quest for fresh produce. Some said they have to travel into the distant suburbs and take many different modes of transportation to find the “green gold.”
School lunch menus and vending machines are breeding grounds for bad food choices. Children spend more time in school than at home these days. As a result, these “alternatives” replace balanced meals. School menus are becoming somewhat healthier for children, but this is a process that might take longer than expected.
So is an eight years old rejecting food to change his or her size going to become the norm? After my sister’s comment settled, I knew that children and the world they live in aren’t the same as they used to be.
Much praise should be given to a child who is beginning to take care of his or her body and be concerned about health. But on the other hand, what does this say about the lifestyles and habits that we have adopted?
Jessieca Gafford is a junior education major from Grambling.