Obesity in teenagers is reaching massive proportions in the United States, and battling it is becoming harder and harder. The underlying cause of this problem is the sedentary lifestyle that a majority of urban population follows today.
With the change in our lifestyle habits, obesity is becoming a rather alarming and widespread issue amongst many American families. Over the last few decades, the levels of this condition in teenagers has constantly risen, and this is leading to some unwanted consequences. The causes and preventive measures for this problem are discussed in the paragraphs below.
Obesity refers to a condition where body fat on the individual has accumulated to extremely unhealthy levels, and this is causing a drop in the quality of life of the individual. As a result of this, the person has to face a number of health issues, and his/her life expectancy is also considerably lowered. This is something that naturally happens to a human being as he/she ages, but to see a teenager suffering from this problem points at a drop in the living habits of families. By definition, people of this age group should be active and should indulge in a lot of physical activities to live a healthy life, but being obese is something that ruins the quality of life completely.
The method of checking if a person is obese is through his/her Body Mass Index (BMI), which measures the weight of the individual with respect to his/her height. A person with a BMI of 25-30 kg/m2 is considered overweight, and any number over this figure points to a case of obesity.
According to a report released by the US Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 15% of teenagers in the US are overweight, and bordering on obesity. This roughly amounts to around 10 million. This figure has tripled in the last 20 years, and this is one of the most alarming statistics.
The first cause is the kind of food that is consumed. It is a well-known fact that teenagers love junk food, but these are very rich in fats, oil, and cholesterol. This inadvertently harms the system, and ends up in the individual becoming obese. With the vast expansion of fast food chains around the country today, it is no surprise that this is the single biggest cause.
The next factor is the lack of physical exercise. With the advancements in the computer world, and especially the video games industry, more and more teenagers choose to sit at home, and play with their gadgets. This habit has led to the birth of the term ‘couch potato’. This ultimately results in a total lack of exercise, and a sedentary lifestyle. Both these factors together have led to the drastic rise in the levels of obesity in the country.
Some of the possible dangers of this condition are as follows.
- Increased danger of heart diseases
- High cholesterol levels in the body
- High blood pressure levels
- Greater possibility of contracting Type-2 diabetes
- Social discrimination resulting in lowered self-esteem
Teenagers who are obese, are more likely to be obese in their adulthood as well, and this increases the chances of serious heart conditions and other disorders in the future. Adopting weight loss methods as soon as possible is something that should be paid attention to.
The best way to prevent or reduce obesity in teens is to ensure that the individual gets plenty of physical exercise. Visiting the gym on a regular basis, or taking up a sport is the best way to achieve this. If this is not possible, then even something as simple as talking a walk everyday, or going for a jog will be extremely beneficial. The prevention can only occur by putting an end to a lazy lifestyle.
This also involves eating a healthy diet and a balanced diet. Consuming fruits and vegetables will aid in the purification of the system. The biggest responsibility of the parents is to ensure that the child does not spend an excessive amount of time on the computer or playing video games, since this is one of the biggest contributors to this problem.
It is never too late to start living a healthy life, and ensuring that children do not fall into this trap. So, be sure to follow the preventive measures, and stay away from diseases.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.