A true story of obesity from the American Obesity Association web site: I’m 17 years old and I weigh 440 pounds. I’ve been overweight since I was 12 years old. I used to go to school, but I had to drop out because people continued to make fun of me. I suffer from depression, anxiety and agoraphobia. I hate my body so much and I wish I could lose all this weight in a heartbeat, but I can’t. Now I sit around in the house all day, and when I do go out I don’t even get out of the car, I joined a gym, but I don’t know what good that’s going to do. I missed my whole teenage-hood because of my obesity. You know what, I feel so guilty for letting myself get so big and I wish 1 could just live an ordinary teenage life, and have cute boys look at me and not pick on me, because I would be beautiful. I could go out and enjoy life instead of being afraid all the time. I know I’m not the only obese person in the world but me being a teenager and watching all these other skinny teenage gins. it makes me feel like I am the only one and I feel like such a freak. I wish I could change, but it’s so hard.

Lack of knowledge, low physical levels, and economic development are all leading contributors to obesity in America’s youth, but there’s one problem: it can be stopped.

I believe that an adequate school system should be put in place, that teaches young American’s the proper eating diets before it becomes to late. My whole life I grew up hearing about the food triangle, but I can’t explain it to you because I can’t remember it. The last time I heard about it was probably last year, and I can’t tell you any serving size amounts. Don’t get me wrong, the food pyramid is a healthy living idea, but it is not practical. Who is going to memorize a pyramid, of all the food groups, and remember how much they should eat? Obviously not me, I think that we should devise a proper teaching system that informs our youth about the reality of eating right. Such as teaching them eating healthy doesn’t always have to be gross, and if you eat the right foods every so often and don’t eat a lot of candy. These are words that are more easily understandable by smaller children. Showing them a Pyramid just doesn’t do the trick.

Along with proper eating techniques, activity levels play a key roll in living healthy. With economic development (which I shall soon talk about) children are being introduced to more technological toys. Computers, internet, gameboys, and everything else, and again, don’t get me wrong, I love them too, but they are not going to keep you healthy. Children need better ways to get the exercise they need, without straining themselves. Parents should keep a close eye on what their children are doing, watching, how much time they are indoors, and out. They should set time limits to their childrens T.V, watching time and computer time. They should set aside time to do outdoor activities and parents should take them out. Along with their children, parents can also be active. When budgeting time, keep all this in mind. If your child spends a lot of time at a baby-sitters, be informed on what their children are being subjected to, eating, and how much time they are actually being active. Right now activity levels are low, but with parental help we can bring them back up.

As I said before I am going to talk about economic development. Economic growth, as you probably already know, is when the economy, or the world around you, is growing. This means businesses, industries, and all major companies. This means television, computers, and technological games – which are all leading to American obesity. When companies manufacture these types of things, they are not thinking about weight issues, only how much money they can make. As young Americans, you have the responsibility to take care of yourself, yet no one does. I think that parents should set aside these types of toys, like I explained before. A big industry that has been growing is the Fast Food industry. We spend more than 110 billion on Fast Food now. This plays a major roll in obesity, I think, also, as American’s, we should be more careful when choosing our meals and make sure during the week your child has a proper home cooked meal. Once in a while, on the go food, is okay. but not night after night.

Everything that I have now talked about, leads me to my final thought: health and social consequences.

With everything that I have said – it all comes down to this. Health problems. Health problems that are related to obesity are high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, stroke, sleep apnea, pregnancy complications, and all could possibly lead to death. Overweight and obesity has social consquences also: depression, eating disorders, etc. The story that I read before mentions how she is constantly afraid and suffers from agoraphobia – being afraid of people. So instead of health problems follow my careful instructions and stay healthy.

Lack of knowledge, low physical levels, and economic development are all contributors to obesity in America’s youth, but there’s a problem: it can be stopped and it will be. With all the information I have just given you, there is no reason not to stop it. So be informed, be educated, and help fight the fight of overweight and obesity.

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