Teenage Obesity � The Silent Killer

Teenage Obesity � The Silent Killer

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The innovations that are invented in this day and age never cease to amaze� from iPods ..... Obesity continues to rise with about 15% of the target audience being teens. With both parents working in a fast-paced world teens often have to make their own food choices. Most of them prefer � junk food� they can grab while watching television or playing video games. Lack of physical activity largely contributes to the growing problem.

Teenage obesity usually leads to adult obesity. While it is rare that teens experience the health problems associated with obesity, they need to be aware that those problems are likely to appear at some point in their life. Studies have shown that severely obese young females could lose an average of four to eight years off their normal life expectancy. For males in the same age group the numbers are much higher at twelve to twenty years.

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Teens who are obese face ridicule from their peers. During the teenage years physical beauty is of great importance. Youth magazines flaunt petite girls along with muscular, well built males. The clothing market directed at the youth generally does not offer fashionable clothing for obese teens. This alone can lead to low self-esteem.

The most popular girls and boys are nearly always small and attractive. Studies have shown that the overweight teen is more likely to be the subject bullying and name-calling. This can lead to social withdrawal, unhappiness, and can even go as far as causing mental illness. Teenage obesity often leads to teenage depression. Depression is listed as one of the top causes for teen suicide.

Teenage Obesity - The Solution

Parents have a responsibility to teach and guide their children, including teaching them proper nutrition. Eating habits that are formed during the teen years are likely to carry over into adulthood. Offer healthy snacks such as yogurt, popcorn, nuts, low fat chips, and fresh fruit. Avoid fried foods at meals and offer as many fresh vegetables as possible. Discourage sugary drinks and teach the importance of plenty of water.
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Encourage your teen to stay active. Give them chores such as helping in the garden or washing the car. Take family hikes on local nature trails or visit the zoo. Bicycling and swimming are other family oriented activities which can help to reduce a sedentary lifestyle.

One final note to make is to always show your love. Encourage your teen to make the right choices and give them your full support. Be a good role model and focus on providing the proper nutrition at your family meals. Encourage activity and plan family outings that involve some sort of physical participation. Understand that teenage obesity needs to be addressed early in life in order to prevent complications when they reach adulthood.

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