February 24, 2023


A Better Way to Solve Childhood Obesity & Other Ills

By: Ericka Andersen

There’s a new movement out there to slap pills and surgeries onto kids who are dealing with obesity. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published new guidelines recently and they are dripping in social justice rhetoric. Whether we’re talking about childhood or adult obesity, magic pills and surgeries are not going to be the long-term solution to the foundational issues that got us here. 

Overall, obesity in general has been climbing for 50 years. Clearly, whatever adults have been doing isn’t working. Why do we think it will work for children? Children, whose bodies are far too young to be manipulating if there is any way possible to avoid it. 

It’s all too reminiscent of another “pill and surgery” movement taking over the nation right now. When teens feel uncomfortable in their bodies, woke healthcare educators and providers tell them they might be transgender. Cue the hormones and top surgery – all before the tender age of 18. 

In today’s instant gratification society, these quick fixes to temporary problems are all too common even for children. Yet, they bypass and ignore the importance of mental health, appropriate bodily development and the vital maturity that comes with age. 

False solutions like these look directly to Big Pharma, unnecessary surgical procedures and personal validation. If the foundation factors of obesity—or anything else—are not adequately addressed, the problem will continue. Here are 5 ways Western society can address childhood obesity without physically life-altering consequences or burdensome government regulations or taxes: 

1. Support non-profits that advocate urban gardening and sustainable farming for impoverished communities. 

2. Educate parents on limiting screen time and promoting physical activity. 

3. Empowering communities to build walking paths, bike paths and plenty of recreational options for members. 

4. Incentivize strong families by pushing for marriage before parenthood, which decreases poverty and increase opportunity. 

5. Increase physical activity opportunities in public schools and beyond. 

These are just a few of the ways we can begin to combat the obesity epidemic in practical, long-term ways. Like so many societal ills, this one cannot be a cure with a simple policy fix, mandate or a magic pill. This takes the deep work and commitment of families and communities who care for their children. 

If parents care about anything, it is their children. We can begin to better educate and empower parents to teach their kids healthy habits and start to reverse the cycle of generational obesity through new actions and information.