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Obesity among Teens

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Obesity is defined as too much accumulation of body fat so that a person body weight becomes 20% more than what they would have weighed in an ideal situation.  This paper will focus on obesity among teens. I decided to work on this topic of teens and obesity because the disease is one of the key health issues the whole world today. Additionally, the rate of obesity among teens is worrying (University of California, 2009). Data indicates that children and teens top the list of those suffering from obesity. The topic of obesity is very important because it will help inform teens about this disease. The teenage stage in focus here is also very important because this is the age at which individuals are very energetic and expected to support their families in carrying out some chores involving a lot of energy. Other than this, this age group is a beautiful stage in life when everyone wants to look attractive. This topic is therefore timely and aimed at ensuring that teens get all the required information to help fight obesity.

In handling the topic, the first source I used is entitled “Obesity Problems among teenagers-Cause & Consequences”, by Bibhash Sharma. In this article the writer stresses the fact obesity is a key health problem today. According to statics, in the United States alone, almost 70 % of the whole population is obese. Out of this, the most affected population is the teenagers and the number of those being affected is constantly rising. The main reason for this is because of a change in lifestyle and eating habits (Sharma, 2008). People have inclined towards what they see as convenient foods but in real sense, they are fattening. This fact is aggravated by ads on the televisions because every time a new food product is introduced in the market, they get to the consumers through the media and internet. The most popular of them is TV which sometimes ends up misguiding the teens because they spend most of their time watching it. Teenagers tend to feed on every food that hits the market as one way of being fashionable hence ending up being obese.

Sharma (2008) affirms that unhealthy eating habit among the youth is largely to blame with parents being part of the problem. Some parents offer their children large quantities of junk food without minding the nutrient content the food in question. Parents also fail as role models because they sometimes feed on large amounts of junk food while their children are watching. In the end, teens do what they witness in their parents because they look up to them.

Overeating is not the only cause of obesity among the youth as some studies have blamed it on genes. Obesity may occur as a genetic disorder running in the affected families from generation to generation in some occasion. Many obese parents end up having no problem with their children being obese because they think that is the way their families are supposed to be. As a means to fight the disease, parents must first improve their eating habits to change their children’s (Sharma, 2008). Obese teenagers should take an initiative of and seek intervention from a dietician. They should invent their health eating program depending oh their unique health needs and adhere to it other than imitating their friends’. They can also make use of many online programs that can help them cut weight after inputting their personal data.

“Obesity among state’s low income teens nearly triple that of more affluent peers”, by University of California is another article that article whose brief findings will highlighted here. Although prevalence of obesity is high among all the teens in general, research reveals that the situation is very severe among low income teens. A new research by UCLA Centre for Health Policy Research focusing on California estimates that 21 % of teenagers from low-income families are obese as opposed to only 8 % from affluent families. They consume fast foods, watch television excessively and inadequately exercise just like their affluent families’ counterparts. On the contrary, this group from low-income families faces many obstacles to healthy weight (University of California, 2009). They lack of adequate access to healthy foods, healthy behaviors and physical activities. This is a worrying trend because the number of adolescents who lack access to the services has is on the increase.

The recommendations to combat obesity among this group are among others: regulation of the number of fast-food restaurants in the area, offering incentives to encourage grocery stores and other fresh vegetables and fruits outlets. In a policy that seeks to fight obesity in the area, efforts to enhance physical education and activities’ opportunities in the area are emphasized. Campaigns to discourage too much television watching and encourage family dinners also part of the efforts (University of California, 2009).

To sum up the discussion the rate of obesity among the teens is alarming and measures have to be taken to avert the situation. Some of the areas of priority should be initiating programs in schools aimed at combating obesity. Studies concerning healthy feeding and physical activities have to be incorporated in the curriculum. Parents have to be educated on nutrition to feed their children on nutritious foods (Lissau, 2005). Other programs that will keep teens away from television and computers including more social events and sports to help them burn calories have to be developed. Psychologists are of great help because some teens with obesity get traumatized due to their weight, a fact that may make them anti-social and also affect their school performance negatively. Psychiatrists can help them by counseling them. Health professionals especially dieticians are of key help for they advice on nutritious and healthy programs to control obesity.

The information from my sources is very similar to what I learnt in class and read from text books concerning obesity. The statistics relating to the prevalence of obesity among the teens are within the same range and indicate that this age group is the most affected of across the whole population. Causes of the illness are very similar because it is mostly caused by excessive consumption of junk food and lack of exercise. The ways of preventing fighting obesity are very uniform in all occasions and recommend nutritious feeding, and exercise.

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