It’s sad to say but it must be said. The CDC states that one in five children are obese; that’s triple the percent from only one generation ago. Many of these are teenagers. They’re probably wondering “Well how in the world did I get big?” I’m here to help them understand their situation and perhaps help them fix it. The likely reasons are high fructose corn syrup, stress, fast food, and their genes themselves.
High fructose corn syrup is bad. The reason for this is because it is replacing glucose as a sweetener in most soft drinks. Now the reason why it’s unhealthy is because fructose can’t tell the body when to quit eating. Robert Sherwin of Yale University for the Denver Post says, “It’s probably not in your best interest to have high fructose corn syrup containing soft drinks because they’ll not cause you to be full, and you’ll tend to consume more calories.” The brain uses glucose as fuel; when people need glucose the brain signals the body to eat more, or eat less if it’s had enough. This switch cannot be operated by fructose, hence the body tends to eat more because it doesn’t know when to stop. The reason why we use fructose instead of glucose is for the sole fact that it’s generally sweeter; but when it comes to pros and cons, it doesn’t seem very logical to continue.
Another factor that may be the cause for obesity is stress. What stress a factor for obesity is because when you are stressed, the body starts storing energy for later instead of using it now, as reported by The Star. The reason why stress causes this is because when the body is stressed it thinks it is in a time of crisis therefore it stores food so it can hunker down and hibernate, so to speak, until the danger has passed; then it uses that stored energy to start thriving again. But today, most humans don’t live in a dangerous environment; where’re at the top of the food chain. So this stored energy just sits there, waiting for an opportunity that will never come.
School, essays, tests, and projects all take their turn chipping away at teenagers’confidence. Nobody likes being pressured and teens, in their already vulnerable state due to puberty, get virtually hammered by all these seemingly unstoppable forces. Another way they get stressed is seeing their parents struggling. A survey conducted by Working Moms Break states that 88% of working parents are stressed.They’ve always took care of their kids, making them as happy as can be. Then, when teenagers see them faltering because of bills or long work shifts, they get worried and start thinking about how they’re going to get through this rough patch or crisis. Then they start ‘hibernating’ and think about, “what am I going to do to help them,” instead of thinking about their schoolwork or friends, normal day-to-day life all goes out the window and now when they try to get back in, they’re socially demoted to an outcast for terribly unfair reasons.
Thirdly, obesity is also caused when our diet consists predominantly of fast food. It’s not good for the body at all because basically all it is is processed fat on a bun. What makes it worse is that American society demands people travel more; we’re busier and nobody has time to make a decent meal. Society sits, burning no calories at all, while driving home from work or school and stopping to eat fast food. Now the body is full of giggly grease, sitting there doing nothing and it all goes right into the gut, where it‘ll never get used. Yes, healthier food wouldn’t eliminate this problem but it sure would limit it. Fat is used only to store energy; vitamins and minerals are used for so many different things: solidifying the immune system, building bones, helping blood flow, and so much more. The body has multiple uses for them. The Chicago Tribune found that a Hardy’s Thickburger is 1148 calories! Who wants that marinating in their pot? Yuck! What makes it worse it that this stuff is cheaper than the healthy foods! People are urged to eat virtual crap for their bodies because it’s more bang for their buck, and to some, tastes better. This has to stop.
The last reason, and most likely, is their genes themselves. If the father is heavy, chances are the child will be on the chunky side too. It seems logical,and it’s usually the case but there’s one gene that is absolutely terrible for the body’s weight. Brain-derived- neurotrophic-factor or BDNF makes the body want to eat more. The Boston Standard writes about an experiment on mice that had a slight mutation to this gene. The mutation was meant to simulate a genetic malfunction where the gene might not of fully developed. The mice that had the mutation were twice as heavy as their fellow lab-mates. The reason for this is that this gene regulates how much food the brain tells the body to consume. A mutated form of BDNF prompts you to eat massive amounts food. Nobody has proven that this form of BDNF is in humans, but we may never know...
Yes, teens are fat and one of those reasons probably caused them to be so or a combination of them. The point is, what are they going to do about it? Society is to blame for chubbiness, and it needs to change. It’s corrupt and if it doesn't stop, humanity will only get bigger. We need to speak up, voice the issue so that society will be healthier; not only for us, but for all the generations to come.