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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Essay on Teen Obesity

Essay on Teen Obesity
            One of the major concerns that affects today’s society is the growing number of teen obesity. Studies suggest that in the United States alone, more than 30 percent of the teenagers are overweight while over 15 percent of American teens are considered obese. This means that almost half of the teens in this country are at risk of developing serious health conditions because of their weight. 

            Obesity is defined as the excessive accumulation of body fat which then makes an individual 20 percent heavier that their ideal body weight. Obesity is considered as a type eating disorder which could cause a number of health problems especially among children and adolescents. There are a number of genetic, cultural and biological factors that causes the increase in teen obesity within the country. According to the American Obesity Association, the foremost cause of obesity is due to the increased intake of junk foods such as potato chips, fast foods as well as sugary drinks and sodas.  Consequently, experts suggest that the choice of junk foods is a reflection of poor eating habits as more teenagers tend to overeat or binge on these unhealthy meals (Burniat 24).

            Another major factor of teen obesity is the lack of physical activities or exercise. This is due to the fact that most of the teenagers today spend time sitting in front of the television or their computers instead of engaging in physical activities. The younger generation’s constant exposure to technology has resulted to their sedentary lifestyle; while at the same time, it hindered them from enjoying the outdoors. Similarly, the younger generation has been led to believe that weight problem can be solved without having the need to exert any effort. This is because of the proliferation of advertisements regarding a “miracle weight loss program” or a “breakthrough no-sweat solution towards weight loss” (Burniat 24). 

            The effects of obesity among adolescents can affect not only their teenage years, but it can extend throughout their adult life. Some of the common health issues related to teen obesity include heart diseases, hypertension or high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, sleeping problems, and some forms of cancer. Teenagers may similarly develop orthopaedic or bone problems due to their body’s inability to support their excessive weight. Apart from this, adolescent obesity is often associated with poor self-esteem and negative body image which could lead to anxiety and depression (Gay 125).

            Although teen obesity causes significant health concerns, there are many ways that both teenagers and parents can take to prevent this condition from happening. Since obesity is an eating problem, it is essential for the individual to develop a healthy eating habit. This means having good food choices as well as eating on time. Teens must learn how to stay away from fattening food and drinks that are commonly advertised as “0% fat” or “0% calories”. Parents and teenager alike, must also control their food portions in order to avoid overeating. Similarly, young adults must also eliminate their sedentary lifestyle. Instead, they must choose to engage in physical activities such as hiking, jogging, biking, swimming, and other recreational sports. Daily exercise is another important element that teenagers must adapt. Young adults must understand that the easiest way to lose weight is through proper diet and exercise (Burniat 24).

Burniat, Walter. Childhood and Adolescent Obesity. London: Cambridge University Press, 2002
Gay, Kathlyn. The Obesity Issue for Teens. NY: Enslow Publishers, 2006 

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