Obesity Among American Youth and What Plays Role in It
The predominance and seriousness of obesity have increased among American youths. Whereas the therapeutic and psychosocial consequences of obesity and overweight are well known, less information exists on how obesity is linked to health risk behaviors, a significant threat to preadult health. Youth who are obese have an increased chance of health problems such as diabetes, cancer, vascular diseases, and other types of illness. Obesity may be complex because of the various factors, such as genetics, eating, and excising patterns of youth. This paper will identify the opportunities and challenges in changing healthier eating among American teenagers.
Young people in America are vulnerable to health behaviors such as unhealthy eating and lack of physical activities. Being obese does not happen overnight as it develops gradually because of a poor diet and body exercise lifestyle. Lack of physical activity is a significant factor in obesity since many youths tend to relax, and most of them will rarely do regular exercise. This results in their body being less active, and the energy provided by the food taken is converted and stored as fat in the body (Guddal et al., 2020). There is an opportunity to change this health behavior through regular exercise and watching one’s diet. Promoting a healthy diet and regular physical activity is a massive opportunity towards changing obesity. This may be at an individual level where one must watch out for what they are consuming and regularly doing personal physical activities. In addition, schools can provide the youths with more healthy choices of foods that are dietary friendly and advise more physical activities such as at least walking or jogging for 15 minutes. There is a need to reduce screen time and create wellness policies that promote a healthy lifestyle.
A major challenge towards changing obesity among the youth is the limitation of resources. Many youths do not have access to healthy foods, while others lack knowledge of a healthy meal. This forces them to feed on what is available to them because they are limited in options. Cultural norms and beliefs are other challenges towards changing obesity among the youth in the United States. Many teenagers fail to watch and lose weight because being overweight runs in their family, and there is no need to act towards it (Guddal et al., 2020). The fast-food consumption culture in America is a considerable great challenge towards changing this health behavior. This is because more youth are feeding on fast foods since they are quick and readily available in time of need. Fast foods carry extra weight with high levels of cholesterol, making them unfit for daily consumption. Therefore, feeding on junk foods is a tremendous challenge towards obesity among the youth.
Public health professionals have an essential role in promoting public health approaches towards obesity among the youth. The best practice to be followed in ensuring a healthy diet and regular physical exercise. This practice is ideal since it does not require capital to start to follow and maintain. The health care providers need to teach and train the youth healthy eating habits while using the available resources. Regular physical exercise ensures that the excess calories in the body have been utilized while making one more active hence it is critical towards changing obesity among the youth. There are proven benefits in practicing regular physical activities, making it an essential lifestyle habit for teenagers.
Guddal, M. H., Stensland, S. Ø., Småstuen, M. C., Johnsen, M. B., Heuch, I., Zwart, J.-A., & Storheim, K. (2020). Obesity in Young Adulthood: The Role of Physical Activity Level, Musculoskeletal Pain, and Psychological Distress in Adolescence (The HUNT-Study). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(12), 4603.