Teen Obesity: A Public Health Crisis

2028 words - 8 pages

Teenage obesity is a major public health crisis nationally and internationally. “In 2012 the percentage of adolescents aged 12­19 years were obese.The increase of teenage obesity in 2010 to 2014 was from 5% to nearly 21% in the United States” (Flegal,2013). Teenage obesity is a serious problem in the United States and needs to be addressed.
Causes
Teenage obesity is caused by numerous of things such as a person’s lifestyle, eating habits, and environment. No single factor or behavior can cause obesity. When children decide to eat more than they need, their bodies store extra calories in fat cells to use this energy for later. Overtime if this pattern continues and their body does not need this stored energy, they develop more fat cells and may lead to becoming obese (Kaneshiro, 2012).
Eating Habits
Poor eating habits are one of the factors that can cause a teenager to develop obesity. Parents are also a key factor for a child becoming obese, at home parents tend to buy junk food for their children to eat rather things that they should be eating such as fruits and vegetables. Also parents also tend to have less time to plan and prepare healthier meals, as a result children are consuming more processed and fast foods that are usually less healthy than home cooked meals (Kaneshiro, 2012).If a parent is overweight and has poor diet and exercise habits, the child is likely to adopt the same habits.Up to one out of every five children in the U.S is overweight or obese, and this number is continuing to rise (Benaroch, 2012). The way we eat when we are children may strongly affect our eating behaviors as adults. When we repeat these behaviors over many years, they become habits. These learned habits lead to eating no matter if we are hungry or full.Many people have a very hard time breaking these habits and overtime might need to get help in order to break these eating habits.
Enviroment
Environmentally reasons and a teenagers lifestyle play a big part of a child becoming obese as well. Teenages are surrounded by a variety of things that make it easy to overeat and become harder to be active. In a child's life family, friends, schools, and community resources
in an environment can cause lifestyle habits regarding diet and activity (Kaneshiro, 2012). Watching television, gaming, texting, and playing on the computer are activities that require very little energy. They can take up a lot of time and replace physical activity. When children watch television, they often crave the unhealthy high­calorie snacks they see on commercials.Children and teenages see up to 10,00 food commercials every year (Kaneshiro, 2012). Most of these commercials are for candy, fast food, soft drinks, and sugared cereals. Schools can become an important role in teaching students about making healthy food choices and exercising. But not all schools offer healthy food choices or time for physical activity. Vending machines in schools that sell soda,sugary drinks and snacks...

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