Teenage obesity

photo courtesy of google images

Tara Ebrahimpour, Staff Writer

In today’s society, it seems that a majority of  American teenagers are more interested in how many likes they get on an Instagram post rather than physical activity and exercise that is crucial  for their health.

According to Medical News Today, obesity is defined as a person who is dangerously overweight to the point where it negatively affects his or her health. A person who is obese accumulates so much body fat that it has a negative effect on the body.

photo courtesy of google images

One way to determine if someone is obese is by using a type of measurement called BMI (Body Mass Index). BMI is a test used to determine whether someone is underweight, overweight, or obese. According to Medical News Today, BMI takes many factors into account, including height, weight, age and race of a person. The downside of BMI testing is that it doesn’t take muscle mass into consideration which is really important. For example, someone who is muscular may have a higher BMI reading but less fat than someone who is not fit, giving an inaccurate reading.

A BMI reading considered “normal” is between 18.5 to 24.9 percent. A BMI reading of 18.5 or less means someone is underweight, and a BMI of 25-30 means they are overweight. If a BMI reading is between 30 to 40, then a person is considered obese.

The rate of obese people has increased dramatically since the 1980s. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of obese children and adolescents has tripled.

Junior Henry Rothenberg said, “Obesity is a major problem in our country because many people are unaware of how severe the problems of obesity can be to one’s health.”

Obesity is a huge problem, and can even be life threatening if ignored or left untreated. Some causes of obesity include taking in too many calories, lack of sleep, lack of exercise,  endocrine disruptors, and genetics, according to Medical News Today.

If both parents are obese, there is an 80 percent chance their child will be obese as well. A large percentage of adults are obese which can contribute to the large percentage of overweight and obese children and teens.

Obesity can cause a high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing problems, and an increased risk of heart disease if left untreated.

Junior Adelyn Yau said, “‘Fixing’ the problem would involve lifestyle changes, which  involves eating more natural foods, monitoring portion sizes and getting active.”

To prevent becoming obese, one can exercise or reshape their diet. Someone who is struggling to lose weight might want to consider surgery. Although this is an option, one should discuss it with their doctor first before making any decisions.

Senior Billy Lash believes that, “We could fix this problem by saying no to fast food but  is hard to say for Americans when it [the food] is good. It [the problem] can also be fixed by talking to someone about your problems instead of holding  it in and eating away your pain.”

There are many factors that contribute to obesity, but a few simple changes in one’s lifestyle can make a difference.