Childhood And Teenager Obesity Essay

1965 words - 8 pages

Obesity is an epidemic in the U.S, and childhood obesity is on the current rise not only nationally but locally in Virginia. Despite recent media attention towards obesity, this problem is still growing at an exponential rate and locally it is growing at a rate higher then the national average. Childhood obesity is increasing among adolescents in Virginia due to environmental choices like “fast food options”, parental negligence, as well as lack of physical activity. The aforementioned factors have a huge impact on obesity and whether an adolescent can properly combat their disease by the choices they make in the present or in the future. Adolescent obesity is a present and profoundly dangerous concern because child morbidity can lead to a myriad of health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and certain cancers, even though the majority of these conditions affect older individuals more than children, these adolescents have an increased rate of retaining obesity into their adult years.

My own personal experience with adolescent obesity started when I was around 9 years old until my later teenage years. I was never a very athletic or strong kid growing up and loved playing video games with a passion which lead to a certain sedentary lifestyle that affected my health mentally and physically. One day, I went to the hospital for a physical when I was twelve, and the doctor explained that I was technically considered “obese” due to my style of living as well as the choices I made. This revelation of my obesity shocked me of course and I knew I had to do something about it. I had to implement a few changes in my life but up to that age I was constantly fed fast food by my parents on a daily basis and they did not seem to mind or notice for that matter, that I was an obese child. It took time to get to the physical state I am in now, but, without changing certain environmental choices such as the elimination of fast food from my diet, as well as other factors, I would not have combated obesity and the negative effects it had on my health.

Young people nowadays struggle with “healthy” options in school. School lunch choices affect morbidity rates in children since this is, for some kids, the only meal they acquire during the day and foods that aren't necessarily “healthy” or high in fats and sugars can lead to obesity in children in school systems in Virginia. According to an article by Karen Graham, “There are about 55 million children enrolled in schools across the country and about one-half of all middle and high schools offer sugary drinks and less than healthy foods in the cafeteria. These non healthy options are available through vending machines as well”(Karen). These children are exposed to less-than-healthy foods and this can lead to an increasing obesity numbers in children in private and public school systems. Child care systems in preschool age adolescents as well are leading to higher...

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