Teenage Obesity Facts

Teenage in an individual’s life is the time when the body is growing and showing all visible signs of adult bodies. Being closer to adulthood make teenagers feel that they have achieved that adult status and they start practicing all their adult role models do. Girls start aspiring to look like the famous pop star or the top model.

Nevertheless, teenage is the phase when the body needs lot of nutrients to grow up to a healthy adult. But the little flab that accumulates around the hips and thighs become unattractive to the teens because that is not what their role models have. Strict dieting begins with alternative binges and the result is obesity because things go beyond control after a series of unhealthy dietary habits.

A study in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (August 2003) found that three of ten girls in grades 7 to 12 report being teased about their weight by their peers. Obesity is a major concern among women because social and sexual acceptability of women revolves much around their looks.

The US Surgeon General says that fifteen percent of children between the ages of six and 19 are overweight. This means that 15% of our teens are at a risk of arthritis, heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, stroke, high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes. Additionally, obese teens have a very high probability of becoming obese adults.

Death comes in the form of cardiac arrest, respiratory problems, electrolyte imbalance and suicide. According to the National Institute of Mental Health teens with eating disorders face a mortality rate 12 times higher than that due to all causes of death among females age 15 to 24.

According to federal statistics, the rate of overweight among American children aged 6 to 19 has been increasing rapidly in recent years – from 11 percent in 1994 to 16 percent in 2002. The reasons for teenage obesity are attributed to sedentary lifestyle, high-fat diets and high-calorie beverage consumption. Hard data on that issue is scarce, Dr. Ebbeling says.

The studies examined by researchers at the University of Illinois-Chicago and University of Michigan concluded that 26% of TV ads watched by teens were of junk food products. The vast majority of these products contain high amounts of fat, sugar and sodium. The average American child today is exposed to an estimated 40,000 television commercials a year at the rate of over 100 per day. Since 1980, childhood obesity rates have tripled among adolescents.

Studies also show that adolescents obtain half their beverages at home and researchers are focusing on beverages typically found in the family refrigerator.

Living near convenience stores can make teens more prone to becoming overweight than the ones who live near supermarkets that offer a wide variety of nutritious foods.

In the article Soft Drink Pouring Rights, New York University Professor and renowned author Marion Nestle, stated the following: Lucrative contracts between school districts and soft drink companies for exclusive rights to sell one brand are the latest development in the increasing commercialization of school food. These contracts, intended to elicit brand loyalty among young children who have a lifetime of purchases ahead of them, are especially questionable because they place schools in the position of pushing” soft drink consumption.

The electronic revolution has made adolescents to focus on the televisions, electronic games, videos and DVDs instead of outdoor physical activities. Daily physical education has been eliminated from many schools. Studies reveal that approximately twenty- five percent of young (ages 12- 21 years) report that they are not involved in any vigorous physical activity”.

Latest Teenage Obesity Facts (2009):

  • Nearly 9 million children above 6 years are obese in the United States.
  • According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, teen obesity is an epidemic in the country.
  • 14 percent youngsters belonging to the age group 12-7 are over weight.
  • The risks of obesity related complications like diabetes, heart disease and depression is extremely high in these individuals.
  • The rate of teenage obesity has tripled in the last 20 years.

How Teenage Obesity Causes Depression?

Teenage is a crucial phase in an individual’s life. At this phase, the teenagers are mostly conscious of their looks. They lead their life by comparing every aspect of their lives with their friends. Excess fat in the body make them look ugly and hamper their self esteem. Initially, when the depression is mild, it can cured by proper counselling. But the nature of the teenage is as such that they do not share their problems. Lack of maturity worsen their mental state. Latest research has found that the minimum age in the U.S. at which people suffer depression is as low as 14 years.