Obesity In Society Essay

1367 words - 5 pages

Obesity in Society

In past years, there has been a great deal of concern throughout North
America about the prevalence of certain conditions, which affect
teenagers more than any other age group. Eating disorders, drug abuse,
stress and peer pressure have all had their moment in the spotlight.
In the eighties Bulimia and suicide made their mark. In the nineties,
teen violence reached it peak. Now, years later, there is a new
villain in the town of adolescence. His name is not Anorexia, Drug
Abuse or Peer Pressure. His targets are random, crossing class, race,
gender and ethnic barriers. His name is Obesity, and he is victimizing
teens at an unprecedented rate.

Health Canada says that obesity is an excess of fatty tissue on a
person's body. Some experts believe you are obese if you exceed the
"desirable" weight for your height, build, gender and age by more than
20 per cent. By this definition, almost 14 per cent of 12 - 17 year
olds in Canada can be classified as obese. That is more than a 5 per
cent increase from 10 years ago. The true indicator of obesity is the
Body Mass Index (BMI). Of the various ways of measuring obesity,
calculating the BMI is the most common and most accurate. The BMI can
be found by dividing a teen's weight in kilograms by his/her height in
meters squared. A BMI of over 25 is deemed overweight, and a BMI of
over 30 is considered dangerously obese. Naturally, as body's change
and develop, there are people who will become overweight when they
reach adolescence. But why are teenagers becoming obese at such an
alarming rate?

When children reach that awkward stage called puberty, they often make
some major lifestyle changes. Swap the soccer ball for a TV remote,
the bicycle for a game controller and the granola bar for a bag of
chips, and you have the new agenda of young people. Unfortunately,
this new agenda does not always include regular physical activity,
which plays a huge role in keeping us healthy. At school, only one gym
credit is required, and after that, many teens do not participate in
any activities to keep them fit. Also to blame is the influence of the
forever-present and always dependable technology, now a staple element
in most homes. The television, the computer and video games all play a
key part in keeping teens indoors and inactive. But today's teens are
clever; they're multi-taskers. What else are they doing while they're
watching TV or playing on the computer? They're eating. Poor eating
habits, including the type of food and time at which it is consumed,
can contribute to the amount of excess weight on the body. Because
these things can be controlled, eating habits, influence of media and
television and physical inactivity can be called modifiable factors in
the commonness of obesity. The disregard of these factors causes about
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