In the United States the issue of obesity has receive much attention due to shocking statistics that continue to grow each and every year. Currently, it’s estimated that 16-33% of adolescents are struggling with obesity. Teenagers are considered to be obese when their weight reaches 10% over the recommended for their height and age. Roughly 12% of parents feel that their child is overweight, and they are dealing with both the physical and emotional consequences.
Many believe that obesity is linked to junk food and advances in technology, which is a justified theory. However obesity can be caused by genetics, lack of physical activity, and poor role models within a teen’s life. All of these elements have created a crisis within American youth and many organizations are making an effort to stop the rapid increases.
The emotional consequences of teenage obesity can affect teenagers later on in life. Disorders such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem can continue even if the individual loses the weight. This can also lead the teenager to further eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia due to having a poor body image.
The first step for addressing obesity is obtaining a healthy weight; the second step is building self-confidence and maintaining a proper lifestyle. Physically, teenage obesity can be very dangerous and life threatening. In order to avoid the life-long consequences, it’s crucial to address the issue as soon as possible.
Common health risks associated with teenage obesity include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Bone and joint problems
While the blame for teenage obesity can be placed on video games, the internet, and a poor diet; these are only outside factors. Schools and parents should encourage teenagers to participate in physical activities and consume a healthy diet. Little steps towards promoting a healthy lifestyle can ultimately save a teenager’s life.