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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Adolescent Obesity

Obesity and being overweight are the second major reasons of preventable deaths in America. Stagnant lifestyle and junk food are to be blamed for more than three hundred thousand deaths per annum. The sad thing is that this problem is on the rise. Obesity is a chronic disease which poses serious health risks to an individual. Also, obesity is an easily recognizable medical problem, but is very difficult to deal with.

Most people think obesity and being overweight are the same thing, but it could not be farther from the truth. Gaining a few pounds makes someone overweight,  but when you total body weight is 10% more than the recommended weight per body structure and height, the person is already considered obese. Many millions of dollars are spent on this problem of obesity. It's important to treat the problem early in life because children who are obese between the ages of 10 and 13 have 80% more chance to grow into an obese adult unless they change their lifestyle into a healthier one. This problem starts at the age of 5 and continues to adolescence.

Many complex reasons can make up an obese adolescent, including family history, emotional problems, bad eating habits, and non exercise and more. People get obese when they consume more calories than their body burns. If a parent is obese, there is more of a chance that an adolescent will be obese, and that percentage increases when both parents are obese. Only 1% of obese people is due to a few medical disorders, but more likely adolescents are obese because of one or more factors like bad eating habits, little or no exercise, low self esteem, medication, depression, emotional problems, stress, or a family history of obesity.

Emotional problems, heart attack risk, high blood pressure can be a cause of obesity in adolescents as well as diabetes, sleeping disorders and other problems. Emotional problems can lead to low self esteem, which in turn, can be a cause of weight gain. Also obese teens seem to have more anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and depression.

People on the heavy side has to be thoroughly checked out to make sure the obesity is not a medical problem. The physician will usually advise a  limit to the calorie intake, more exercise, and change in lifestyle to manage the weight problem. Help from a psychiatrist might be necessary if emotional problems are involved. Family involvement is very crucial in addressing obesity as it might lead to more serious illnesses.

Maintaining the ideal weight after losing the extra poundage is very vital for long term health. In majority of the cases, people shift back to their old eating habits after losing weight. That is the reason why obesity is more of a lifetime issue. 

About the Author:

Want to find out more about adolescent obesity, then visit Catherine Guhl's site on this and other parenting topics for your needs.

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