Teenage obesity affects both the physical and psychological health of young people and puts them at risk of ill health as adults,
Obesity continued to increase dramatically during the late 1990s for Americans of all ages according to the data collected and analyzed by the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).. About fifteen percent, or nine million teens and children under the age of 15 are obese today. This is triple what the obesity rate was in 1980. It is expected to grow to 20 even 30 percent as we move into 2007 and above. As you can see this is a problem that needs to be fixed promptly.Specific foods do not cause obesity. Overeating in general, along with inactivity, are the main culprits.If you regularly eat and drink more than your body needs, you will store the excess energy as body fat. The only long-lasting method of preventing obesity is to change both these factors: your diet and lack of exercise.It is shocking to know that a single fast-food restaurant meal often contains enough energy to meet your entire daily requirements. And many studies have shown that having a television, particularly in your teenager's bedroom, is a major risk for obesity.Measuring WeightFiguring out if a teen is overweight can be more complicated than it is for adults. That's because teens are still growing and developing.Doctors and other health care professionals often use a measurement called body mass index (BMI) to determine if someone is overweight.Doctors consider a teen obese when his or her BMI number is higher than the BMI numbers of 95% of other teens the same age and gender. Someone whose BMI number is between 85% and 95% of the BMIs of other teens the same age and gender is overweight.But how can we fix teenage obesity?First, it starts with the parents. Do you know that some of the same habits I picked up when I was 5 and 6 years old I still do today such as drinking a glass of orange juice before go to bed.Make your child get into good habits right away.Next, fast food should not be an easy way to fix dinner no matter how tired you are from work.Fast food is probably the quickest way to make your child fat. You are supposed to have around 2000 calories a day for the average person. A good amount of fast food meals have over 1200 calories in one meal. You do the math, that is not healthy.What can I do as a parent?As a parent you should educate your teenagers by encouraging a healthy diet and plenty of activity. By stocking the cupboards with healthy food and engaging in family meals, parents can have a huge impact on their teenís health and weight. In addition, a research study conducted on teens successfully demonstrated that a diet that is well balanced and contains foods that rank lower on the glycemic index helps to promote weight lossWhen talking to teenagers about obesity they need to be encouraged not scolded about their weight and they need to be assured that loosing weight is a positive thing. Teenagers will need all the support that they can get and hopefully in time they can battle the bulge and live happy normal teenage lives!