Unsuccessful Reforms? Yes, Health Programs Not Working
by jowihu on November 7, 2016 - 9:21am
Legislating weight loss is how the government tries to help people lose weight. In the case of this article, the government implemented programs and policies to help kids get healthy. First, obesity is such a struggle in America. The US has one of the largest obesity rates in the world per the World Health Organization. (Essington & Hertelendy 2016) Obesity has many health risks that come along with it. It has a very bad impact on the budget of the country and the productivity of people as well. Most importantly, it has very poor effects on children and teens. Obese kids are much more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, anxiety, and depression than those who are not obese. (Essington & Hertelendy 2016) There are many problems with kids and weight, so the government tried very hard to deal with this. A campaign called “Let’s Move” was started in 2010 which tried to get kids healthy. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was also instituted, which set aside $4.5 billion over 10 years to help kids eat right. (Essington & Hertelendy 2016) But, these initiatives to combat obesity did not work, as shown by findings over the years. In 2013 a study was done, and it found that of many kindergarten and pre-kindergarten kids studied, 45.3 percent of their food was thrown away. They only ate about half of the food given to them. Also, the city of New York had a program to expand free breakfasts for kids, which had to be suspended. This was because 20 percent of students ate a whole breakfast before coming to school. Then they would come to school and receive another breakfast through the program. (Essington & Hertelendy 2016) The journal is saying that none of these programs are working. There are many changes that should be made.
I agree that government programs implemented are not enough to help kids get healthier. Obesity is such a huge crisis. It needs to be solved, but the amount of money being dumped into failing programs across the nation needs to stop. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is using $4.5 billion. (Essington & Hertelendy 2016) This is a lot of money to spend when virtually half of the food served to kids is just thrown out. The kids in schools across the country do not want healthier options, so these options are just a waste. I could not believe that this much money was spent on a new program like this. There needs to be better ways of educating kids, instead of forcing them to eat healthier foods. The “Let’s Move” initiative focuses on the physical side of helping kids. Not all kids want to be forced to exercise, and it is difficult to implement an organized plan for every child. I agree with the journal because I think healthy eating and physical activity needs to be part of everyday life for kids. But, I think there needs to be more education on this topic. I know that I would want to exercise on my own, but as a kid, I may not know how. This is where educating comes in. I also believe that the government shouldn’t try to handle this all on their own. I believe there should be private food companies, doctor’s offices and healthcare companies that should take it upon themselves to take care of kids too. The government cannot be the only option in dealing with obesity.
This journal is important to read for a multitude of reasons. Most importantly, obesity is an epidemic in this country. The journal is talking about ways to deal with it. It is such an enormous worry in this country, and there needs to be steps taken to get it under control. To make this happen, the journal suggests that policies and programs need to improve. There needs to be better ways to help children and teens in school. Improved policy is important because it would benefit all kids in the country who struggle with being overweight. In addition, this journal should be read because it talks about how money set aside for these kids could be used in much better ways. The billions of dollars used for national programs could be used for education in nutrition and exercise. Lastly, the viewpoint of having poor governmental policies is a very important one. We need to question the government when it’s policies do not function the way they should. This journal helps us to think about a lot that could be done better, because the way we help kids today is not the most effective. As a country, we can do better.
Essington, M., & Hertelendy, A. J. (2016, June). Legislating Weight Loss: Are Antiobesity Public Health Policies Making an Impact? Retrieved October 30, 2016, from