English Across the Curriculum

Childhood Obesity

Snacks and Fast Food

Many of us eat up to four meals a day thanks to excessive snacking. And when we have a snack we don't eat a carrot or an apple. Instead we reach for junk food. But this is not always the children's fault. Schools are full of vending machines that offer high calorie snacks and sugary soft drinks. To make things worse they are bombarded with TV ads and commercials for unhealthy food. An average American eight-year old watches more than four thousand food ads a year. About 35% of these ads are for candy and snacks, another 10% for fast food.

Fast food is another reason for obesity. While some fast food chains offer healthy alternatives, these aren't what people order. Today's families also eat out a lot more than earlier generations.

fast food

"Fast Food" by Awais JIBRAN is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 .

vending machine

Vending machine with snacks in Hong Kong
Images : WaoceanuCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons