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Introduction

The devastation that World War II had on the world, is well documented an incomprehensible. Lives were lost, property destroyed, atomic warfare unleashed that maimed many. A lot of lives were also damaged beyond repair, more so those of women and children. In response to this, the United Nations through its General Assembly, decided in 1946 to create a program for this. This program, was aimed at providing food and medical supplies for children and women especially in the war devastated areas. The program was called The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Since then, UNICEF has come a long way in fulfilling its mandate. It has provided Ready-to-use therapeutic food to families in war torn areas. It made great strides in preventing child mortality from preventable and communicable diseases through its vaccination program. In fact, child mortality by those diseases has dropped by half, through UNICEF efforts.With over 350 warehouses scattered around the globe and round the clock emergency response team, UNICEF is able to respond to any crises in any part of the world, within a record 72 hours. (Farnswort et l, 2014 pg 17-23)

Background

In order to fulfill its mandate, UNICEF, requires massive finances. To meet them, it mainly relies from donations. These come from governments, as well as private donors. It also runs a children’s fundraising program known as Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF. The main reason for the success of UNICEF is that it encourages community based programs aimed at alleviating a specific problem that may be plaguing that particular community. This goes in line with the goal of self-reliance highlighted in the Millenial Development Goals. This is in sharp contrast with previous years where foreign intervention was used. This was seen as primarily short-term solution, since the community did not develop its capacity to solve its own problems. The result of this was re-occurrence of the problems after the programs were rolled out.

Role of UNICEF in providing food and nutrition to people in the US

UNICEF has been lauded for its efforts around the world. However, a question frequently posed is, what effect has it had on the United States and its people. The answer to this is broad. Primarily because, UNICEF has its headquarters in New York City. Given this, UNICEF is known to conduct continuous research in the sciences and biology, particularly in the fields of medicine and Agriculture. This has led to liaising between UNICEF and governmental agencies such as the department of medicine and Agriculture. The benefits of this is that, the American population has continued to receive a steady supply of health care and the government is able to feed its bulging population.

In the wake of disasters in the United States, UNICEF has been seen to play a reading role. A recent example is the wake of the Hurricane Katrina. In that disaster, property was destroyed alongside lives and livelihoods. UNICEF responded to the humanitarian calls for help. True, it was imperative to provide basic amenities such as food, clean water, shelter and clothing to the affected parents, however, UNICEF went a step further. In the commotion brought about by the hurricane, a lot of families were separated. Needless to say, a large number of children found themselves unable to locate their parents. UNICEF noted this with great concern. (Farnswort et l, 2014 pg 67-88)

Finding a parent in the confusion that follows a disaster is difficult. However, by mitigating the effects it had on the children, it made it easier for them to recover. This it achieved by putting the children in temporary shelters that also served as schools. In these shelters, a normal routine, akin to that of school was employed. It stabilized the children, whereas the same time bringing out those who required therapy or specialized assistance. The shelters also served as central places from which parents could come to seek their lost children.

From the example of Hurricane Katrina, the roles that UNICEF plays to the American public more so in times of disasters are evident. They provide counseling services, basic needs, medical attention and even re-uniting separated families! (Farnswort et l, 2014 pg 67-88)

Obesity

Medical practitioners, are repeatedly highlighting obesity as an emerging medical issue. This has led it to be characterized as a disease by contemporary medical practitioners. The effect of obesity is that it predisposes one to coronary heart diseases, diabetes and skeletal diseases such as weak bones (Freedman, 2009). According to medical myths, obesity, is mainly a result of over nutrition. To a given degree it is true. However, as this paper shall prove, there are a lot of dimensions in this.

Causes of obesity

Genetics

Obesity is hereditary through one’s genes. One can get the obesity gene from their parents, or be born with a deficiency of Lepatine hormone that regulates fat and body weight. (Baum & Chou, 2011)

Fatty foods and refined sugar

Over indulging in foods high in fat or sugar leads to massive weight gain.

Decreased metabolism

Slow metabolism that could be due to age factors or sex. Women have lower muscle ratio to men, hence, easily predisposed to obesity. As one ages, they lose muscle, lowering their metabolism.

Lifestyle

Sedentary lifestyles that are characterized by physical inactivity, lead to weight gain.

Other factors

Medication such as antidepressants lead to weight gain. The same is observed in psychological factors such as stress or anger which influence eating habits resulting in increased weight.

The question as to whether over-eating leads to obesity has been greatly debated. This emanates from the presence of obese people who are fussy eaters and slim people that consume massive amounts. There are also obese heavy eaters. The answer to this mainly lies in a person’s genetics and metabolism rate. Some people as seen earlier in this paper are simply predisposed to obesity (Baum & Chou, 2011). There is not much they can do to reverse it. When it comes to the rate of metabolism, the more muscles one has the higher the rate. For example, an athlete can consume a large amount of food without increasing weight due to their high muscle ratio as opposed to an average person. (Freedman, 2009)

Conclusion

Today’s world is often fast paced, more so in towns and cities. This has led to the ever rising popularity of fast foods. Not only are they convenient, they are affordable to most people. This is in opposition to the rigorousness involved in cooking a meal, meals are also much more expensive in restaurants (Baum & Chou, 2011). A keen look at the menus in most fast foods, reveals diets that are usually fat ridden and possess a large amount of carbohydrates. They include fried chicken and French fries. True, they may satisfy the hunger pangs, but that is all they do. They lack the dietary composition to provide the body with proper nutrients beneficial to it. The high starch and fat also makes one a candidate for obesity.

References

Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding: the special role of maternity services — A    joint WHO/UNICEF statement. (1990). International Journal Of Gynecology &             Obstetrics, 31, 171-183.

Baum, C., & Chou, S. (2011). The socio-economic causes of obesity. Cambridge, Mass.:    National Bureau of Economic Research.

Burniat, W. (2002). Child and adolescent obesity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Farnsworth, S., Böse, K., Fajobi, O., Souza, P., Peniston, A., & Davidson, L. et al. (2014). Community             Engagement to Enhance Child Survival and Early Development in Low-    and      Middle-Income Countries: An Evidence Review. Journal Of Health Communication,          19(sup1), 67-88.

Freedman, J. (2009). Understanding obesity. New York: Rosen Pub.

Youth’s role in development, by Michael U.R. von Schenck, Assignment Children, Fise-Unicef,   Paris,   1968, No. 8. (1969). International Review Of The Red Cross, 9(97), 217.

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