Teen Obesity

Teen obesity is more of a problem now that it has ever been. The trend is still going upwards and that is not even including all the teens that are only overweight. There are many reasons for this phenomenon and only by knowing where the problems are can one start to find solutions. Not only is teen obesity a problem for the teen and their self-esteem and opinions of them self, but it has negative long-term effects on the overall well being and health. Many obese teens grow up and become even more severely obese adults that require a lot of money for caregivers as well as medicines to control their heart disease, cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes and even blood clotting. That is even just to name a few of the health problems that have their roots in obesity.

Why is teen obesity such a problem?

Recent statistics have shown that a full 15% of today’s teens are considered to be obese and at least another 10% are overweight and are in danger of becoming obese also. There is not even much difference in gender and the boys are just as heavy as the girls. This not only has social problems associated with it, but also as adults they are at risk of developing many severe disorders. The best thing to do is to find a solution before things really get out of control and starting young is one of the best ways to avoid problems later. However, a solution cannot be found unless the causes are known. One of the main causes of teen obesity is the lack of exercise. Nowadays many teens prefer to play video games on the computer or console, watch TV or surf the Internet. Sitting around all day means a lack of movement and this laziness contributes a great deal to obesity. Once the weight is there, then the teens say that they cannot play sports anymore and then spend even more time with their indoor activities.

Another problem that carries an equal amount of importance is the eating habits of obese teens. These teens practically live off of fast food. They eat burgers, pizzas, tacos or chicken nuggets every day. The main drink of the day is soda, which is nothing but sugar with water and then to top things off they munch on chips or candy while watching TV or playing games and eat chocolate when they are bored or as a snack. Fruits and vegetables are not usually on the menu and since obese teens do not bother learning about healthy alternatives, they wouldn’t even know where to begin changing their diets. This unhealthy diet is rich in calories, saturated fats and preservatives, but does not have much nutritional value. Combined with no exercise at all, it is only understandable that weight problems will be the result. The parents are also a problem in this picture. Many obese teens have obese parents. These parents have no clue about nutrition and do not bother preparing meals made with fresh ingredients and always give their children fast food, frozen food and snacks just because of the convenience. If the parents do not set a good example, who will the teens learn from?

There are many solutions to teen obesity.

Due to the upwards spiraling trend towards teen obesity, it is something that should be dealt with at a national or state level. Since apparently the parents are not capable of being good role models when it comes to weight, the education about obesity, the health risks involved and healthy foods should begin in the school systems. It would not be difficult to offer classes aimed at low fat cooking, learning about healthy foods and the nutrients necessary to maintain good health or to even offer special gym classes that focus on the obese and overweight students. This sets a good foundation and will maybe even motivate the obese teens to continue at home with the good ideas learned in school, even when they are on vacation. This is the base of a long-term solution to fighting not only obesity among teenagers, but also of adults since that is what the teenagers will soon be.

Parents have to take a role in fighting teen obesity, as well as the teenager. The times of sitting in front of the computer or TV should be restricted. The teens should be made to go for a walk, even if only with the dog around the block a few times. They should also be enrolled in a sports club and have to participate in a sport they like. What they choose should not matter, even if it is something easy that does not burn a lot of calories. Important is that they do something and if they start enjoying it, then they can start participating in more courses and this increased activity comes on its own. The weight loss will also follow, sooner or later, but considering that teen obesity is already a psychological problem, it is good that any kind of activity is done. The final step is to ban the fast foods and snacks every day. Some should be allowed, but only normal or small sized portions. The parents should try cooking low fat meals and go shopping with the teen so that they learn which foods are good to buy and which should be avoided. It is also a good idea to take a seminar or course on healthy cooking, because here one learns many things in regards to the preparation of foods and healthy ways to cook them.

Teen obesity has skyrocketed over the last few years, and there is no end in sight. This is very saddening considering how easy the solutions are. Governments could save so much money on health care if they would invest in the education and teach the teenagers about living a healthy lifestyle. There is no need to constantly mention being fat, instead one should encourage active participation in sports groups and other physical activities. Parents also have to just make sure that the children do not have the means to purchase fast food everyday and instead should force them to make something at home, which is much better for them.

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4 Comment(s)

By: 123 10 years ago
that is great information,and i think all parents should read this.
By: steph 11 years ago
Not all obese teens have fat parents and just eat fast food as this article suggests. Too bad the author doesn't offer valuable solutions instead of making such generalized statements
By: 9isenough 11 years ago
By: dddddd 12 years ago

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