Rethinking Our Health for Better:
As I stand in front of you as a specialist in Public Health I can express to you all that this field has been dear to my heart for as long as I can remember. Growing up I enjoyed every bite of food I would take not knowing the difference between a “healthy food” product and the garbage food that caused me to be overweight and nearly obese. Today the topic of conversation is meant to make you aware of why we have a huge issue with obesity but even more so with childhood obesity. Many children are starting to develop illnesses that we only saw in adults but today we start to see more and more overweight and obese children because of the food products that they eat. All of you are here today, regardless of motivation, to find out more about what you can do to make sure that your child, patient, friends, family, and you yourself receive the information you need to be successful in living a healthy lifestyle.
The problem with children being overweight or obese has grown over the past years and even though things are being done to get us back on the right path we see a growing problem. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention expresses several concerns which may be the leading causes of childhood obesity. Among the listed things we see unhealthy foods on school grounds, lack of daily quality physical activity in all schools, limited access to affordable healthy foods, increased portion sizes, and watching too much television.
My personal experience, knowledge, and years of experience convinced me that a healthy lifestyle of living is essential to an individual’s life even more so with our eating habits. We cannot allow our kids to be poisoned by food industries and manufacturers who solely care about making money. As I watched a film on TED by Jaime Oliver on how to teach every child how to eat right specifically teaching them what vegetables are. I noticed something that is so simple yet shocking to know that the kids do not know something simple as to what vegetables are. What are we doing to our kids that we do not even know what vegetables, which is one of the most important food groups we need?
We are seeing fatter and sicker kids who are slowly gaining illnesses that can potentially lead them to death concluding to shorter life expectancy that the generation prior to that. Parents are coming into the doctor’s office and even spending more on money on medications, treatments, and overall health insurance. In reality, people may believe that they are spending less and believe they are saving money by choosing the dollar menu at McDonalds but put the rest to health care costs. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that the issue is so bad that it tripled from just one generation ago since it now affects 17% of all children and adolescents in the United States.
Today, you listen to me give you some insight of an epidemic problem that has harmed our health drastically and the struggle to turn the situation around before it hits the point of no return. The purpose of my lecture is to help you better understand how much we our damaging our bodies as well as our kids and providing insights, resources, and knowledge of how to take action. If it was not as important as other things not much emphasis would be given to people and that is why I believe that we need to start thinking about the foods that we buy before we buy them. It is true that these food industries and manufacturers are now putting in what goes into our foods on labels but how many of us actually understand the wording? The reason why is because not many people take the time to take a look over them anyhow so they decide to label as they know leaving the consumer out of the loop. The ones that are feeding this issue to us are not taking the responsibility to explain to us what it is in our foods then that means that we must take it upon ourselves to do so.
I am truly passionate about I think of the many reasons that I decided to go into a career with a Public Health background. The meaning of living a healthy lifestyle means more to me than the degree I carry to prove I have dedication to help make it happen for our society. Leave this conference knowing that you are not by yourself and that we can achieve a healthy state by being involved in knowing and understanding the foods we need.