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One of the urgent challenges of the modern generation involves proper nutrition and overweight problem since both adults and children suffer from obesity. The number of children encountering health difficulties driven by this disease has continuously risen. Obese toddlers are more likely to experience various health problems in adulthood such as eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia), low self-esteem, and others. Therefore, the earlier parents manage to solve the problem of child’s overweight, the more successful the latter will become in the adult life. Most of the scholars have reached consensus that right behavioral patterns of parents as well as their dietary habits play a pivotal role in the development of healthy children, who are less likely to have weight problems (Moore, Wilkie, & Desrochers, 2016; Wolfson, Gollust, Niederdeppe & Barry, 2015; Lusk & Ellison, 2013). It is noteworthy that the issue of childhood obesity grounds not only on parental responsibility, but also in food environment as well (Alviola, Nayga, Thomsen, & Danforth, 2014; Chou, Rashad, & Grossman, 2005). However, parents are the first to blame for the rise of childhood obesity since they may inculcate wrong dietary habits as well as fail to incorporate health-related lifestyle in the family.

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Focusing on the different perspectives, scholars have scrupulously studied the problem of the increase of children’s obesity. Some of them state that parents are fully responsible for all the challenges their sons and daughters encounter in childhood while the others accuse fast food and the advertising of unhealthy and junk food. Thus, according to the opinions of various researchers, both the reasons of obesity and the approaches for treatment may differ significantly.

Moore, E., Wilkie, L. W., & Desrochers, M. D. (2017). All in the family? Parental roles in the epidemic of childhood obesity. Journal of Consumer Research, 43, 824-859.

As Moore et.al. state in the article, parents are fully responsible for the activity patterns and diets their children adhere to thus influencing the probability of obesity occurrence in the latter. The abovementioned report explores not only the role of families in the rise of this disease, but also analyzes genetic and ethnic predisposition to overweight. The other challenge tightly connected with the eating behavior and genetic underlying risk is the process of socialization. The scholars emphasize that obesity that has developed in childhood significantly depends on the family (genetic predispositions, physical activity, and food consumption practices). Failing to fulfill their responsibilities, parents immediately put their children at risk of weight problems since toddlers learn a lot from the former. The scholars argue that parents should develop patterns of social behavior linked with the right consumption decisions.

The abovementioned article provides a profound evaluation of the issue maintaining the position of the joint parental responsibility for childhood obesity. The writers’ statement refers to creditable sources such as statistics data as well as to the opinions of scholars respected and well- known in medicine and in the field concerning the issue of obesity. Furthermore, the article includes investigations and materials published in the last ten years, which means that the information proposed in the research is reliable and creditable. However, the authors claiming that the nationality and ethnicity are also essential in the childhood weight problems fail to reveal and analyze the reasons for such phenomena and furthermore explain how to reduce the negative impact of ethnicity.

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Wolfson, A. J., Gollust, E. S., Niederdeppe J., & Barry, L. C. (2015). The role of parents in public views of strategies to address childhood obesity in the United States. The Milbank Quarterly, 93(1), 73-111.

Parental responsibility for the obesity of their children is the main idea of the research conducted by Wolfson et al. Scholars claim that public policies influence high parental responsibility. According to Wolfson et al., school-based obesity prevention policy is also pivotal in addressing the issue of the discussed disease. The authors further evaluate the consequences and the influence of public opinion towards parents, whose children suffer from overweight. Wolfson et al. state that despite the fact that parents are the first to be blamed for the obesity of their children, they are not the only ones, who can solve the problem. Communities should not accuse parents, but it is essential to concentrate more on meaningful governmental actions. With a view to overcome this challenge, it is necessary to implement special classes at school that include medical and psychological care as well as awareness-raising work with overweight children and their parents.

The article is an in-depth study focused on the role of parents and public policies in addressing the issue of childhood obesity. The scholars conducted they own investigation fielding two web-based national surveys that maintained a panel of approximately 50,000 adults, who could express their opinion towards the issue. According to the results of the research, US population believe that parents bear the primary responsibility for the obesity of their children (95%) while schools and governmental policies have lower rates. In the research, authors refer to reliable data and creditable sources that significantly contribute to the field of studies. However, the scholars emphasizing the fact that all the respondents were adults, who differed only in their parental status and gender, failed to mention the relevance of the ethnicity as well as the percentage of people, who had or could have other ethnic origin. Since the researchers consider the ethnicity to be one of the factors affecting the rise of childhood obesity, they would have reached more detailed results incorporating this criterion.

Lusk, L. J., & Ellison, B. (2013). Who is to blame for the rise in obesity? Appetite, 68, 14-20.

Lusk and Ellison conducted a survey that represented a public opinion towards the responsibility of seven social institutions (food manufacturers, grocery stores, restaurants, government policies, farmers, individuals, and parents) in the rise of obesity. The scholars concluded that the biggest blameworthy groups were individuals (80%) and parents (59%), as opposed to less responsible food manufacturers, government policies, and farmers. Results of the survey revealed that respondents considered obesity as a consequence of personal factors such as a lack of will-power and self-control. Patterns of behavior learned in early childhood determine these aspects in future. Hence, the results of the research attest to the fact that families have a pivotal role in education and keeping their children healthy as well as their adaptation to an adult life. The scholars, however, argue that food manufacturers significantly deepen the problem of obesity, and it is vital to reveal this fact. Farm policies have also exacerbated America’s overweight issue via the production of high fructose corn syrup.

Lusk and Ellison’s article represents a comprehend analysis of the problem. The scholars refer to journals and websites from creditable institutions introducing the relevant and recent findings and data. According to the results of the survey, the authors present a profound analysis of some characteristics of the respondents such as age, gender, income, college degree, and others that might have influenced the public opinion regarding the issue. Nonetheless, the scholars failed to analyze these individual characteristics equally. For instance, they scrupulously studied personal and social ideology whereas tenuously describing such characteristics as respondents’ age, race, and regions of origin without the evaluation of reasons and grounds for such results.

Alviola IV, P. A., Nayga, Jr. R. M., Thomsen, R. M., Danforth, D., & Smartt, J. (2014). The effect of fast-food restaurants on childhood obesity: A school level analysis. Economics and Human Biology, 12, 110-119.

Alviola et al. claim that the location of fast food near the schools, kindergartens, or universities significantly increases a quantity of overweight students. According to the analysis conducted in Arkansas, a number of fast-food restaurants within a mile from the school greatly affects obesity rates. The scholars concluded that in order to discourage the sales of fast food near schools, it is necessary to introduce a new zoning policy that would be able to regulate the location of such restaurants. Alviola et al. also emphasize the predominant role of parents in the process of cultivating healthy dietary habits.

The article provides relevant information concerning the dietary problem and fast food that continue to affect the children’s health adversely. The scholars’ research involves calculations and different data gathered from schools and kindergartens relating student’s preferences in food, distances from home to school, and from school to fast-food restaurants as well as other factors such as family income, race, and age of the students. The results of the research show a direct correlation between medium and low-income families that are more likely to visit fast-food restaurants in their neighborhood. The scholars refer to creditable sources and introduce recent data published in the last ten years. However, the researchers conducted the survey in Arkansas, which means that the results of the report are applicable only to this state. In this regard, in order to prove the credibility of the results and further develop a new zoning policy, it is necessary to undertake researches in other states and compare the outcomes. Such approach will provide a more thorough analysis of the zoning problem, and consequently present the national framework for addressing the problem of childhood obesity.

Chou, S. Y., Rashad, I., & Grossman, M. (2005). Fast-food restaurant advertising on television and its influence on childhood obesity. National Bureau of Economic Research.

Chou et al. assign a key role in the rise of childhood obesity to fast-food restaurants. In their article, the scholars argue that junk food has become a common food, which threatens the health of people, especially during the process of maturation. Due to the fact that fast food may contain a considerable number of chemical additives and contaminants, it does not contain vitamins and minerals necessary for the body. The advertising of junk food and its cheapness further deepen the problem. The scholars state that all these factors inevitably lead to overeating. Evaluating the reasons of childhood obesity, Chou et al. claim that the increased amount of time spent watching television and advertisement of junk food are among the main reasons of the disease. In this regard, fast-food restaurants advertising on television stimulate their further requests of popular products. The scholars argue that bright packages with drawings of cartoon characters together with all possible enhancers of smell and taste, which stimulate the appetite, make this food even more desirable for children.

The article provides the analysis of television advertising of fast-food restaurant that significantly affects the rise of obesity among children. The scholars refer to creditable sources and materials that present recent information. Chou et al. claim that the most effective way to reduce the negative impact of advertising is to put a ban on propaganda of unhealthy food and fast-food restaurants. However, even the authors themselves note that such restriction may be difficult to legislate, and, furthermore, it will entail great financial losses due to the decrease in sales. The scholars failed to provide other possible solutions of the problem.

Having evaluated academic sources, it is noteworthy that the problem of childhood obesity has multifaceted nature since its causes include a complex of correlations of internal (genetic) and external (parental education, food environment, and other) factors. The analyzed articles provided a comprehend evaluation of the reasons that continue to stimulate the rise of the childhood obesity. According to the prevailing perspectives and arguments, most of the scholars agree that parenting and a lack of proper behavior patterns stimulating consumption of healthy food are the underlying reasons for the issue. The research conducted by Wolfson et al. (2015) displayed that survey respondents considered parents to be the main responsible parties for the overweight problems of children. However, the scholars have not reached consensus yet. Some researchers (Alviola et al., 2014; Chou et al., 2005) presented other arguments claiming that the growth in the number of obese children was a result of unhealthy diets, consumption of fast food, sedentary lifestyle, and close locations of the fast-food restaurants. Hence, scholars and researchers examining the issue continue to debate and conduct various surveys. It is necessary to underline that even though parents are the first to bear responsibility for the obesity problems of their children, they are not the only ones, who should deal with the problem. In conclusion, parents are responsible for the overweight issues of their children since the family’s wrong dietary pattern or consumption of fast food stimulate wrong food preferences thereby entailing obesity.

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