NewsNational NewsDemocracy 2018


Government has a responsibility to combat child obesity, says doctor

Posted at 4:14 PM, Oct 11, 2018

Childhood obesity is a big issue in our country. The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show 1 in 5 school-aged children in America is considered obese.

The Kohler family works hard to raise their children healthy. But one medical professional says it’s also the government’s responsibility to help.

Dr. Scott Kahan, who sits on the board of directors for the Obesity Action Coalition, says it's not just the Kohler’s responsibility to keep their children healthy, it’s also on local and state governments to make a difference.   

"For example, local policies that increase the opportunity, that increase physical activity during the school day have come into place, and that's a good area for governments to work on," Dr. Kahan says.   

The Kohler family agrees.   

According to the CDC, only 29 percent of high school students attended physical education classes in 2015.   

Family and consumer science classes, once known as home economics, are dwindling in schools, mainly due to problems finding qualified teachers.  

"Parents can take it on themselves to learn more about the eating and activity and come up with creative ways to help their kids be a little bit healthier," Dr. Kahan says.   

When it comes to school lunches, 50 percent of kids’ daily caloric intake come from them, and 31 million kids eat them every day, according to Kaiser Permanente. That's why there are guidelines in place to keep them healthy.   

The Kohler family feels lucky to be able to make their children healthy lunches.   

"We know what's going into their lunch box and what they are going to eat every day,” the Kohler parents say.   

Dr. Kahan says we need to stop pointing the finger and realize parents, schools, state and local governments all play a role in a child’s life.   

"We help everyone to pull together, so that we can all lead healthier and happier lives," Dr. Kahan says.