Fight Teen Obesity
The United States of America is one of the most powerful countries in the world. If this country is so powerful why can’t they stop one of the biggest problems in their country, teen obesity? America rates highest in teen obesity. Since 1990 the obesity rate has been increasing. Teenagers need around sixty minutes of physical activity daily. (Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Tween and Teen Health.” Mayo Clinic. 21 Nov. 2009. Web. 2) Every grade school in America has classes of physical education that children are required to take until they reach high school. In high school teenagers are also required to take a physical education class for credit. High schools in America also have various types of sports from basketball to soccer even cross country and track. There shouldn’t be any reason why American teenagers are overweight right? Wrong then what is the mystery of teenage obesity in America why can’t anyone stop it? Parents and school need to be role models for young adults. What will happen if parents don’t put a stop to early habits?
At a young age children pick up habits from their parents and people surrounding them. Young children are like sponges they absorb everything that they can take in. A child will eat whatever their parent or guardian give them. If one constantly feeds the child extra dessert when he or she finish their whole dinner plate that child will finish their whole plate just for that extra slice of dessert. If a parent has to bribe their child with food something is wrong and that’s when bad eating habits develop. Instead of bribing them with food why not go for a walk or play soccer at the park. This way the parent can bound with their child and keep them active. The worst thing a parent can do is let food be their comfort zone.
Another huge effect to overweight teens is fast food .Fast food is one of the most growing food industries in America. Now days you can have anything for take-out. All it takes is a phone call. In America everyone delivers. Fast food and video games are a part of our era. Teenagers are less active because of electronics. IPod and lap tops are the new trend, everyone owns them. Instead of eating of going outside children stay inside and play with their electronics and eat whatever they have .The media blames it on the parents and the parents blame it on the media. There’s no telling who’s telling the truth.
The media have all types of shapes in sizes on T.V and big screen. Though many people still have an ideal size and believe that beauty only comes in one size. Recently MTV has been airing a show called “I used to be fat” .The show is about teenagers that are ready to lose massive weight before they go to college. They have one summer to do it. One of the trainer mottos is “The weight you carry on the outside is because of something really challenging your carrying on the inside”. This show is made for overweight teens to motivate them and show them that they could lose weight. Recently super star NBA team Los Angeles Lakers started “get fit club” They take a whole day to excise with elementary kids and keep them active. This is a great way to show children at a young age that being active is the way to go.
The media does have a huge effect on the teenage generation; from music to fashion trends even body image. Many teenagers feel the pressure to be perfect and skinny just like the girls on TV. For example my childhood friend Taylor was one of these girls. In grade school we were both chubby. I interviewed her the other day. I asked Taylor did she ever notice that she was overweight when she was younger. She said “No I never noticed how fat I was until I hit high school I started to realize that my body looked different from all the other girls and that they wore size one while I was wearing size fourteen. The next question I asked her was why do you think you were overweight growing up? Her response was “To be honest I believe that my parents made me fat. They would make me eat so everything off of my plate. They never let me leave a crumb of food. Next I asked her, “When did you start working out?” Taylor’s response was, “When I graduated from high school I wanted to be better for myself because I was tired of being fat”. Just like Taylor there are many teens that don’t notice that they are fat or over weight because they are use to an overweight family and or environment.
Just as much as family has a fault in child obesity schools do too. Food that is sold in school cafeterias are just as bad as junk food. Most of it is frozen and highly unhealthy. If a parent is concerned of their child’s weight one should buy them healthy food maybe even packs them lunch and keeps them active. That way the parent can save their money and keep their child healthy.
Fast food and long periods of inactivity are mainly to blame for the rapid increase in teen obesity (Teen and Childhood Obesity.” ObesityHelp. 2011. Web. 02 Dec. 2011.) . Sometimes it’s not that the teenager is not being active but that they are not being as active as they should be to burn all the excessive fat that they are consuming .That is how people start gaining weight. Being obese is bad for the health. Parents need to be more involved, instead of giving your children money to buy food at school why not going shopping for healthy food that the child will enjoy? Packing your child a healthy fresh lunch is never a bad thing. Sometimes it is the parent that is the bad influence in the children’s lifestyle. Just by taking a walk together or going to the gym and working out five times a week can help. It’s a great way to bound and lose calories.
Obesity can cause many health problems. If one does not take action of their weight serious diseases can come about for example diabetes, high blood pressure .cholesterol and heart problems the health problems that stem from being overweight go way beyond the ones we usually hear about, like diabetes and heart disease. Being overweight can also affect a person’s joints, breathing, sleep, mood, and energy levels. So being overweight can impact a person’s entire quality of life (“When Being Overweight Is a Health Problem.” KidsHealth. The Nemours Foundation, 2011. Web. 02 Dec. 2011. ) Over weight teenagers need help they need comfort and attention. Sometimes that’s why they turn to food. They need realize that food can only get you so far. Most of the time the place food gets you isn’t pretty. You get stuck in a body that you highly dislike. In the end you can’t blame fast-food, the internet, television or electronics.
Excuses are never the answer. Teenagers need to make a change and live a healthy lifestyle they have control of their action and future .Our generation still so much to accomplish. Teenagers need to fight this obstacle and overcome it. This is why I choose this topic. Obesity is more than a word it’s an action you have to take to beat tithe key word is decisions always make the best one. Make a change now and be healthy or stay fat and face the consequences of being obese. America’s health future is in our own hands.