The latest statistics show that approximately one quarter of the nation’s teens are obese. We’re not talking a bit on the chubby side or large-framed, with a little junk in the trunk. We’re talking obese health – threatening, body – imaging, depriving, exercising obese
What’s wrong? Why this problem of obesity in America’s teens? THERE’S NO ONE ANSWER. THE REASON OR REASONS COULD BE ANY COMBINATION OF THE FOLLOWING:
- Poor self-image. That seems like a bit of an oxymoron, but it’s true. A teenager who looks at herself in the mirror and doesn’t see a perfect model-thin, touched-up image staring back at her takes comfort in comfort foods. Comfort foods pack on calories and pounds, so the problem only gets worse.
- Stress. Teens have huge stress levels. Problems at home, pressures at school, the pressure of what to do with their lives, peer pressures, dating stress… Their source of comfort often ends up being food. It’s an escape-it tastes good and doesn’t ask anything of them.
- Laziness. Yes, this is a generation of lazy teens. The amount of time they spend in front of a game console or computer is nothing short of sad and pathetic. Parents, you need to put an end to this. High school doesn’t require more than 2 semesters of physical education to graduate, so teens aren’t getting much exercise at school, either. Make physical activity a ‘must’ in your house.
- Poor eating habits. Even if your teen plays sports, gets plenty of exercise and is confident in who they are (as much as any teen can be), if their diet consists of pizza, cheeseburgers, ramen noodles and Pepsi, they are setting themselves up for problems.
why it matters
Everyone wants to feel good about the way they look and feel. But that’s not easy when your teen is having trouble breathing, sleeping or when they look at the skinny girls in magazines and have to sit across from them in Spanish class or have a gym locker next one of them.
Knowing your teen is feeling so down should be enough to push you into actively helping your teen get a handle on their weight issues, but if it’s not, what about these facts:
- Obesity increases the chances of heart disease
- Obesity increases the chances of stroke
- Obesity increases the chances of diabetes reproductive and pregnancy issues
- Obesity is often a factor in being overlooked for jobs
- Obesity is hard on bones and joints
what you can do
Talk to your teens. If your teen has a weight problem or is developing a weight problem, talk to them openly and honestly. Let them know you are concerned about their health and their safety. Commit to being their cheerleader and their partner in committing to being healthier. Don’t tempt them with poor food choices. Instead, take the initiative to offering healthy choices and helping them make positive changes toward a healthy diet.
One thing you must NEVER do, however is try to shame your teen into losing weight. Comments about being prettier, more appealing to boys or girls or whatever… comments such as this is the same as pouring gas on an already raging fire. Letting your teen know that you love them for who they are – not for what size they wear is imperative. Your teenager needs to realize their value lies within their character not their looks, but that their body needs to be treated with respect and special care so that it can be healthy and vital.
HOW CAN I TELL
THE QUESTION MANY PARENTS HAVE IS HOW TO TELL IF THEIR CHILD IS OBESE OR OVERWEIGHT. IT’S SIMPLE, REALLY. BY USING THE FOLLOWING FORMULA, YOU CAN DETERMINE HOW MUCH WORK NEEDS TO BE DONE TO GET YOUR TEEN BACK ON TRACK TO BEING HEALTHY AND ULTIMATELY HAPPY WITH WHO THEY ARE
The BMI (Body Mass Index) is the measurement of proportion of a person’s weight to their height/frame. The higher your BMI, the more weight your frame is supporting. A BMI of 25-29 is considered overweight. A BMI over 30 is considered obese.
To figure your BMI
Your Weight in Pounds x 705
(Your Height in Inches)2
125 x 705 = 88,125 = 1,399 = 22
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