Teenís obesity rates have increased over the last 20 years. It is estimated that nearly 15 percent of children ages 6-19 are overweight.
For children ages 6- 11 the rate is even higher. The negative effects of teens that are obese are not only physical but psychological. The
psychological effects can be very harmful. Few things can hurt a childís self esteem more than being called names. Overweight children and
teens are an easy target for their peers. Teenís obesity can also lead to problems affecting their health.
Obesity in Teens
Obesity in teenís can lead to obesity in adults. The eating habits taught to children will usually follow them their entire life. It is
almost always true, that overweight children have overweight parents. This cycle can repeat itself generation after generation. There is a
lot to be said about the factor that genetics plays in teen obesity. It requires a strong willed teen or parent to finally make a stand and
dramatically alter the families eating style. This is not meant to be degrading to those that are overweight. There are definitely cases where
eating habits alone will not alter a personís weight.
Teen Weight Gain
If a teen comes from a family that does not have a genetic problem with weight gain and still gains weight, the teens eating habits should be
investigated. Many teens have more freedom to chose what they eat, contributing to the teens weight gain. In other words when a teen begins to
drive, and is able to select virtually what they eat every meal, teen weight gain maybe self induced. Teaching teenís proper nutrition is the
responsibility of every parent.
Nothing is sadder than to see a 7 or 9 year old youngster that is already obese. The obesity in teens truly starts in their pre-teen years.
For the obese teen to have a chance at a normal life, their eating style will have to be drastically modified. Like any habit, modifying teen
eating habits can most effectively be accomplished in the childís early years.
Obesity in Children and Teens
In conclusion, obesity in children and teens can create not only self esteem issues, but issues with their health. When both parents work,
the family in many homes hardly ever eats together. This can lead to many meals consisting of fast food or meals from a box or can. Their
have been many studies and even some television shows indicating how fast food can increase a persons weight. With all of the problems and
challenges of growing up in todayís society, a teen that is overweight will have an unnecessary and extra burden to bear. For this reason good
eating habit should be encouraged from a childís youth.