Why Do Teens Gain Weight?
Compared to childhood obesity, teenage obesity is a lot more difficult to control. It’s because teens aren’t as receptive to advice as children are. Furthermore, chiding teens aren’t as effective as chiding pre-teens; teens simply won’t listen and they’ll resist as hard as they can.
As we get older, we develop not just physically but mentally as well. In addition, we become even more sensitive and stubborn as we age. We tend to think we know more than our parents do. If you’re a parent with a teenager, you know exactly how difficult teens are to handle.
So why exactly do teens gain weight? There are 3 main reasons:
1. Teens don’t know how to differentiate the healthy foods from the unhealthy ones. Most teens grow up eating junk foods and fatty foods since they were little. If they began eating the unhealthy stuff when they were still young, they take that bad habit with them into adolescence. What’s even worse is the older they get, the more they eat.
Most parents today have no time to prepare healthy meals at home. They end up feeding their children take out foods and fast foods. In essence, these parents are training their children at such a young age to eat unhealthily. Don’t expect teens who have never tasted healthy and organic foods to like them.
2. Teens are more tempted to eat restaurant foods compared to pre-teens. Nearly all teens these days have big allowances. It isn’t unusual for teenagers today to have a lot of money. They either get money from their parents or they take on part-time jobs. When teens have money to spend, a lot of them spend that money on junk foods. Compared to the healthy alternatives, junk foods are tastier and a lot cheaper.
In addition, many of the food habits of teens are the direct influence of their peers. Think back during your high school or college years. How often did you buy soda during lunch because your other friends were having soda? You may not have intended to buy soda those times, but somehow you did because all your friends were drinking it.
3. Teens rarely exercise. In some way, parents are to blame because they have the responsibility of making sure their children know the importance of exercising. Instead, they let their children sit in front of the television or play computer games for hours on end. Then there are the schools. Not a lot of schools make it mandatory for kids to participate in outdoor sports and other physical activities these days. As a result, more and more teens are becoming obese.
The current American lifestyle and education system need to be overhauled in order to curb the rising number of teenage obesity. Still, change needs to begin from the parents. They need to being more proactive in their children’s health. They need to focus on encouraging their children at a young age to develop healthy eating habits and lead more active lifestyles. When children know the importance of maintaining a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise, they will not grow into obese teens and ultimately obese adults.