Childhood obesity was a shared concern among community members and professionals.
Much concern was expressed about the link between obesity and other health
issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure. During one focus group,
school health administrators discussed the rise in Type II Diabetes and
the stress school faced in monitoring sugar levels and administering insulin.
The sources for this increase in childhood obesity were identified as fast
food consumption, lack of nutritional knowledge, and lack of awareness
among children and their parents.
“Obesity is the equal-opportunity destroyer.”
“A lot of patients I see live in poverty, so trying to obtain fresh
fruits and vegetables as opposed to fast food or things that come in a
box [is difficult].”
“Processed foods are cheaper, but they’re not good for you…it
comes down to access to money.”
“You’re going to have high blood pressure, you’re going
to have diabetes, you’re going to have obesity, because you don’t
even have access [to healthy food]… [A lot of parents] don’t
even know how to cook. So, how do I fix a nutritious meal, when I can
go to McDonald’s and get a drive-thru bag of fries and hamburger
and soda and the kid will be happy and I can go on about my business,
instead of me sitting at home for three hours?”