Teen obesity not only poses as a risk in health but also limits the daily activity of teens. Freedom is somewhat taken away as choices are narrowed by the limitations obesity places on the teen. Physical activities can become too much of a challenge or a worry for the teen knowing they may not be able to participate. Yearning to be accepted by their peers, a teen may begin to remove themselves from certain situations to avoid any embarrassment that may come with physical activity. The emotional well being of teens may be more affected by obesity than the overall health of the teen.
In general, people worry about heart disease and diabetes with obesity but there are other effects as well. Sleep is interrupted, mood changes are prevalent, joints can be irritated, and energy levels are reduced with teen obesity. The quality of life is reduced because of the quantity of fatty foods ingested by teens
Teen Obesity Statistics
Studies have shown an increase in teen obesity over the years. One third of children ages 2 – 19 are obese. In the 1960’s, it was estimated that 5% of children were obese compared to 15% today. This increased number substantiates the need to not only teach teen’s proper nutrition but the parents as well. Parents have the biggest influence on a teens eating habit and need to be aware of the dangers of teen obesity. It has been proven that teens that are obese will develop into adults with greater health risks. Their life will also be shortened due to obesity. What then can parents do to help their teen learn proper nutrition?
Parents teach more by example than any other way. We’ve all heard the saying, “do as I say, not as I do”. In this case it should say, “eat as I do, not all you want!” The majority of the grocery shopping is done by the parents. The teen is less likely to make poor diet choices if unhealthy food is not brought into the home. It is the parents’ responsibility to provide healthy snack choices such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain crackers, etc. A parent shouldn’t ask a child to eat anything they wouldn’t eat themselves. Preparing meals from scratch is a much better alternative than processed and take out foods. Large consumption of food high in fat and lack of exercise can also attribute to teen obesity.
Teen Obesity And Exercise
Exercise should also be taught by example. What better way to spend time with your children than in a physical activity? It has been proven time and time again that exercise can eliminate most health problems. It can improve ones quality of life and ultimately reduce the risk of obesity. Teens today live in a world of technology that encourages lack of movement. Video games have played a big role in the sedentary teen. Parents should encourage physical activity at an early age and help their children form good habits of exercise and motion. With parents’ help, teens can stay clear from the binds of obesity and enjoy the freedoms that only come around once as a teenager.