Obesity is everywhere. It’s in the news, it’s at the grocery store, and it may even plague one’s home. This epidemic seems out of control and irreversible. Some experts go as far as to call it incurable. Incurable or not, obesity is a big deal and should not be given up on. Solutions need to be found and change needs to happen soon, or the whole world may be a victim to this awful ordeal. The causes of obesity are many, but solutions are few. Many believe the uprising generation will be worse off than America is now. If action is taken place for children and teens, obesity could be stopped cold in its tracks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that one third of America’s young people are either overweight or obese (Hellmich). Doctors use a system called a Body Mass Index (BMI) to measure a person’s weight in comparison to their height. For example, if someone were 5’5” and 130lbs. they would have a BMI of 21.6, which is considered to be in a normal range. But, if another person of the same height weighed 170lbs., they would have a BMI of 28.3 and would reach the overweight range. For someone to be obese, they must have a BMI of 30 or above. Compared to what the suggested BMI should be, the obese range seems extreme. One can imagine what kind of harm obesity could do to one’s body. Obesity is a serious issue amongst American teenagers.
The causes of obesity are countless. The fast food culture we live in today has a huge impact. These restaurants don’t pack in nutrients to make their food healthy, but pack in flavor and convenience. This “convenience” factor leaves teenagers with more calories than they’ll use and no way to burn it off. For example, if one were to eat a Big Mac with a large drink and fry, they would consume 1,330 calories (McDonald’s). Although quick and cheap, that single meal exceeds half of the average daily caloric intake of 2,000 calories. The soda invasion has also taken its toll in teenagers’ lives. “Today the average teen-ager drinks more than 500 cans of soda a year. At 10 teaspoons of sugar a 12-ounce can, drink just one soda daily and that's a possible weight gain of 15 pounds a year” (Silva). Where are children, teens and adults going to use all these extra calories? The increase of the popularity of video games and television has, also, discouraged adolescents to be active. The culture of America is affecting the young people of America more than ever.
The excess weight on one’s body isn’t just unflattering; it’s bad for your health. Deborah Valentine a Registered Nurse and Diabetes Educator says, “Obesity puts you at risk for diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems. The fat is stored adjacent to the organs and may interfere with their normal function” (Valentine). Another article states similarly that as obese teens grow older they have an increased risk for “obesity-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and musculoskeletal pain”...