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    Teen obesity continues to increase on national level

    Teen obesity continues to increase on national level

    By Kim Carneal

    During teenage years the physical changes and the shaping of self-esteem can add stress to a person’s life. With the addition of obesity it can change the adult life of that person by adding more severe consequences.

    Teen obesity has increased more than half from 5% in the 1970s. The 2007-2008 percentage of overweight people from age 2 to 19 is 17%.

    A common belief is that teen obesity is only caused by a lack in physical activity and overeating. However, studies have shown that parents who are overweight are more than likely to have overweight children.

    The things that provoke teen obesity on a national level are equivalent to those that are in the school.

    “First, inactivity causes teen obesity and then it’s the poor food and beverage choices,” Nutrition and Exercise teacher Tommy Harrison said.

    Obesity can start a negative change in a person’s physical capability in all aspects of life, especially later on when it may become difficult to walk.

    “Many students struggle in physical education from being overweight. They struggle to perform activities,” Harrison said.

    Not only does obesity affect physical health but also it can initiate psychological distress, low self-esteem and a negative self-image.

    “Unfortunately, some overweight teens are picked at,” Harrison said.

    Parents are the ones who control the amount of unhealthy food or drinks teenagers consume. Not only do parents provide the food but they should encourage teenagers to be active in their every day life.

    “There needs to be an increase in awareness for adults. They have the biggest impact because they are controlling the eating and drinking choices of teens,” Harrison said.

    A popular health risk for overweight teens is Type 2 Diabetes. It can affect an individual for the rest of their life. Those who suffer from Type 2 Diabetes, cells either ignore the insulin produces or they do not produce any.

    The insulin is responsible for taking sugar from the foods being eaten and putting it into the cells. Without the sugar reaching the cells the body is not able to get enough energy.

    “More teens are having problems with the onset of adult diabetes. Those individuals are at a greater risk for a reduced life expectancy,” Health and Physical Education teacher Lisa McDaniels said.

    Certain classes are available to inform and assist students dealing with obesity or stopping it from ever starting.

    “[Teachers] Consistently cover activity and nutrition in tenth grade Physical Education. Nutrition and Exercise deals with specifically helping students from being overweight,” Harrison said.

    Teachers are always available for any questions or concerns students may have with their body image.

    “I would encourage them to evaluate their eating habits to see why there is weight gain and encourage exercise,” McDaniels said.

    Being obese not only affects a single person’s future but also can result in a change in the entire country.

    “Statistics show we are lagging behind in the world. Our country’s children are at more risk [in teen obesity] than any other country,” Harrison said.

    There are a number of ways to stop or reverse the increase in teen obesity. It is the person’s responsibility to want and seek change.

    “Keeping a log of active time including the hours in front of the computer or television and what foods you are eating/drinking. Putting stuff on paper helps look at the day assessments of where you need to change,” Harrison said.

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    • C

      Conner StevensonJan 14, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      It is unfortunate that so many of our youth as well as our adults have become more and more overweight as the time has passed. Seeing people have health issues due to this is also very sad to see.I hope that our nation may solve this problem soon.

    • T

      Tessa AllenJan 14, 2011 at 9:27 pm

      It is a horrible reflection on America that we have so much obesity. Is it surprising though? Not really, our culture has been one of overindulgence for a long time now, in every aspect. Obesity is just one facet of the larger social problem in America, no pun intended.

    • J

      Jessica TaylorJan 2, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      Like Olivia said, it is sad that so many people are overweight. Some became overweight due to poor choices and others did not really have a choice because it is in their genetics. No matter what the case, everyone has a chance to do something about it and make a change.

    • O

      Olivia TritschlerDec 7, 2010 at 3:29 pm

      It is shocking and saddening to find out that so many people are obese these days, especially when they are young adults. Some times weight is due to genetics, but it all comes down to exercise and eating healthy. I fully understand the attraction of junk food, but it would be better if the cafeteria would serve healthier food because school is suppose to be the place that teaches the youth and healthy food choices should be part of what we learn in school.

    • R

      Raya GirardDec 6, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      I think it is odd that teens are more likey to be obese today than in the past because it seems like we do more and more. We are constantly on the go from place to place. I think the biggest difference is that we drink more soda and have fast food restaurants. Sadly, no matter how healthy we make the grease they fry those golden delicious fries in it’s still grease.

    • H

      Haseena Abdur-RahmanDec 4, 2010 at 1:44 pm

      Getting too little sleep has also been linked with obesity. I’ve even heard that sleep deprivation may alter levels of the horomones that regulate appetite. I agree that teen obesity is increasing rapidly. The only cure for change, in my opinion, is for that person to want to change. If you, however, think that you’re big and beautiful, then by all means keep your head held high. The key is just to remain healthy.

    • D

      Diana O.Dec 3, 2010 at 8:56 am

      I agree with some factors of this article that lack of exercise and poor nutrition increases teen obesity. The other factor that has been proven that if your parents are obese then the chance of the child is increased can be controversial. Kim Carneal made an excellent point “It is the person’s responsibility to want and seek change.”