Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

    In 2011, You Have Eaten a Ton

    No, this is not a figurative amount. A few weeks ago, National Public Radio (NPR) announced that in 2011, the average American has consumed 1,996 pounds of food. Yes, four pounds short of an actual ton.

    It’s an extremely scary figure. But what’s even scarier is that in 1991, twenty years ago, researchers hypothesized that forty years from then, the average American will have consumed twenty tons. At the time, it was still a significant number. Half a ton a year?!

    Twenty years later, compare that figure to now. Simply in one year, we have eaten the same amount as someone did from 1991 – 1993.
    One would think that by now, with our numerous gym memberships and public awareness of obesity, America would have solved the problem. Not only has childhood obesity tripled in the past thirty years, but also by 2008, more than 33% of children were overweight or obese.

    That’s 1 out of every 3 kids, and then some.

    The schools tried to tackle this problem through what children ate during the school day; New Jersey banned soda and many sugary snacks from being sold, or even brought into its schools. Many private schools switched to lunch plans that included healthier options. And yet it’s still not enough.

    Recently, Georgia has tackled its biggest issue, and by doing so, has shocked the nation. The organization, Strong4Life, is campaigning its message across the state by picturing overweight or obese children and teenagers on the ads. Many of the titles include, “Stop Sugarcoating it, Georgia,” as well as television ads that show an overweight teen asking his or her mother why they are fat.

    Americans and health experts alike have become hugely divided over the issue. Many believe that these ads initiate bullying, which is already another major issue in America, while others believe it may be the wake-up call Georgia (and the rest of America) needs. By seeing these ads, Strong4Life wants to encourage the overweight population to become healthy.

    Although these ads may be aggressive, so were the ads for smoking cigarettes or using methamphetamines. Any student here at Hills or across the nation has remembered seeing videos in elementary school of a diseased lung or videos of how smoking kills.

    Similarly, in 2006, the Meth Project launched and began showing the effects of meth though TV and radio ads. In Arizona and Montana, meth use declined by 65% & 52%, respectively.
    Although they were hard-hitting ads, they elicited a positive response. How is treating childhood obesity different than smoking?

    For more information on the Georgia ads, you can go to: .

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