Teen obesity and childhood obesity have become a matter of grave concern. The statistics relating to obesity among children and teenagers have been increasing sharply and only a combined effort by parents, teachers and health care professionals can root out this problem.
Teen obesity is a matter of worry and the causes for teenage obesity are as follows:
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Lack of physical exercise
- Teenage children prefer to watch TV for long hours or play computer and video games with their friends during holidays.
- Sedentary lifestyle
With increasing access to media and internet, the teens are attracted by the advertisements promoting junk foods like pizzas, burgers etc which are considered fashionable to eat. Teens consume them unmindful of the calories they are consuming per day. With both the parents working nowadays nobody exerts control on them as a result of which teen obesity is on the rise. Peer pressure to conform with such eating habits also make teens follow the same, resulting in unhealthy lifestyle.
Teens also have facilities to buy a two-wheeler or bike of their own with increasing financial independence at a young age. Hence, they do not like to walk short distances also and always ride on their bikes. These children also find it difficult to take the stairs due to their obesity and always take the elevator. Unless proper healthy eating habits are inculcated teen obesity is here to stay. Parents must be responsible themselves as teen tend to imitate their parents’ eating habits. Parents should also encourage them to take up an outdoor sport activity like tennis or football which will allow them to burn calories and lead a healthy life. Teen obesity must be discouraged but such children should not be insulted as this could lead to low self esteem and suicides among teens. They should be encouraged to take part in weight management programs to control excess weight.