A cry for help, America's Obese Teens

April 26, 2009
By Becky Sama BRONZE, Hyattsville, Maryland
Becky Sama BRONZE, Hyattsville, Maryland
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

America is known as the fattest country in the world. Approximately fifteen percent of adolescents from ages twelve to seventeen are obese. People understand that being obese means that a person is overweight, but how does obesity affect teens both physically and mentally?

What is Obesity?

Being overweight a few pounds doesn’t suggest obesity. A child isn’t considered obese until their weight is at least ten percent higher than what is recommended for the height and weight body type. Studies have proven that a child who is obese between the ages of ten and thirteen has an eighty percent chance of becoming an obese adult.

What causes obesity?

The causes of obesity include genetic, biological, and cultural factors. In basic terms, obesity occurs when a person consumes more calories than the body burns. Obesity in childhood and adolescence can be allied to improper eating habits, lack of exercise, family history of obesity, low-self esteem, and stressful life events and or changes.

Overeating is the main cause of obesity in kids and teens.

What are the physical effects of obesity?

There are many risks and complications with obesity. Some physical consequences include increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing problems, and trouble sleeping.

Junk food may taste good but the things it does to your body is NOT good.

What are the mental effects of obesity?

Child and adolescent obesity is also connected with increased risk of emotional problems. Teens tend to have lower self esteem, depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

I'm 15 and I guess you could say I'm "fat"... I've been over weight practically my entire life. I'm to a point now that I just need to feel beautiful. I know that any girl reading this can know how I feel... everyone has been there. I feel like I can't be myself around people because their judging me. I've sat down at the toilet dozens of times just trying to throw up. I get so frustrated because I can't make myself do it. And when I try not eating I get so aggravated I can't
stand to be around people. I just wish I could wake up one morning and I be thin. It's like everything I accomplish, anything I do that is great, it doesn't matter because I'm still haunted by the fact that I'll never feel good about my appearance and as soon as
the glory fades, I have to go home and look in the mirror. I used to pray as a little girl that God would just make me skinny, just for one day. I would cry myself to sleep night after night just wishing that I could have that confidence I saw in all of my friends. Okay, I'll stop venting... I just wish I could be "that girl" ya know?? The one in the magazine. The one who has it all together. Flawless.

What are some ways to manage Obesity in children and teens?

Start a weight-management program.

Change eating habits.

Control portions of food and consume fewer calories.

Don’t use food as a reward.

Limit snacking.

Attend a support group.

Obesity has and is still affecting the lives of many children and teens in America both physically and mentally. Taunting and bullying them will do nothing but put them out. This has led to depression and worse, suicide. With a lot of encouragement and support, these kids can focus on the more important things in their lives.

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