Obesity in Adolescents as a Health Issue

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Obesity is an illness that is characterized by the excessive accumulation of body fat. It is a significant health concern because it may negatively affect physical and psychological health. It can lead to hypertension, diabetes, poor self-esteem, sleep apnea, and depression (Sanyaolu et al., 2019). Obesity affects all population groups, but this essay will focus on adolescents – individuals aged 12-19 years. This paper aims to analyze the health issue of a 15-year old boy named John. John’s body mass index is at the 97th percentile for his gender and age, which means that he has obesity. Despite his excess weight, John has a low motivation to change his diet and activity patterns, eats a lot of unhealthy food, and lacks support for weight loss from his family.

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Obesity is a prevalent health issue among adolescents in the US. It is estimated that in 2015-2016, 20.6% of US adolescents aged 12-19 had obesity (Fryar et al., 2018). Among them, girls were slightly more likely to be obese than boys since the percentage of obese individuals was 20.9% among females and 20.2% among males (Fryar et al., 2018). Adolescents are also more likely to have excessive weight than preschool children, among which the percentage of obese individuals was 13.9% in 2015-2016 (Fryar et al., 2018). Statistical data also shows that the prevalence of this disease has risen over time. Fryar et al. (2018) report that in 1971–1974, only 6.1% of adolescents had excessive weight. These findings indicate a growing need for prevention and mitigation of obesity in adolescents to avoid the persistence of this upward trend.

Obesity has signs that can be detected early. Apart from the obvious symptom of excessive weight, obesity is characterized by fatigue, difficulty breathing, heat intolerance, shortness of breath, and joint pains. Psychological signs include depression, social isolation, negative self-esteem, and anhedonia (Sanyaolu et al., 2019). The individual in the given case – John – experiences most of the physical symptoms common among his age-specific population, which include shortness of breath, sweating, and fatigue. In addition, John feels slightly uncomfortable among his peers because of his weight but does not show signs of depression.

There are numerous reasons why adolescents have weight problems. As a rule, excessive body fat accumulates when an individual consumes more calories than expends. It is a consequence of a modern adolescents’ lifestyle, which involves spending much time watching television, video gaming, blogging, or using social networks, all of which are sedentary activities (Sanyaolu et al., 2019). Other causes include the parents’ obesity, unhealthy dietary patterns, and short duration of night sleep (Sanyaolu et al., 2019). Thus, this disorder is caused by various factors, many of which are related to individuals’ lifestyles.

The implications of the analyzed data are that obesity is a disease that can be prevented or mitigated by lifestyle changes. For example, dietary interventions can help address the issue of unhealthy eating behaviors, which are one of the causes of obesity. Controlling portion sizes and caloric intake are viable options for preventing obesity in adolescents (Sanyaolu et al., 2019). Furthermore, since it was identified that physical activity plays a great role in obesity in adolescents, it means that exercise interventions should also be considered. For example, one study showed that increasing physical activity and reducing television watching, combined with a decreased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, led to a reduction in BMI within six months (Sanyaolu et al., 2019). Finally, since BMI is one of the most obvious signs of obesity, it is suggested that school nurses should regularly check adolescents’ BMI to detect obesity early.

Society can take preventive measures to combat obesity in adolescents. These measures include encouraging teenagers to minimize fast-food diets and embrace healthy diets. Furthermore, teenagers can be motivated to participate in rigorous exercises like sports, the gym, and outdoor activities. In addition, parents should limit the number of hours that adolescents spend watching television and playing video games. Finally, teenagers should seek professional help like counseling when they are stressed or depressed, and their family members ought to support them during these challenging times.

References

Fryar, C. D., Carroll, M. D., & Ogden, C. L. (2018). Prevalence of overweight, obesity, and severe obesity among children and adolescents aged 2–19 years: United States, 1963–1965 through 2015–2016. Web.

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Sanyaolu, A., Okorie, C., Qi, X., Locke, J., & Rehman, S. (2019). Childhood and adolescent obesity in the United States: A public health concern. Global Pediatric Health, 6, 2333794X19891305. Web.

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NursingBird. (2022, November 18). Obesity in Adolescents as a Health Issue. Retrieved from https://nursingbird.com/obesity-in-adolescents-as-a-health-issue/

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NursingBird. (2022, November 18). Obesity in Adolescents as a Health Issue. https://nursingbird.com/obesity-in-adolescents-as-a-health-issue/

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"Obesity in Adolescents as a Health Issue." NursingBird, 18 Nov. 2022, nursingbird.com/obesity-in-adolescents-as-a-health-issue/.

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NursingBird. (2022) 'Obesity in Adolescents as a Health Issue'. 18 November.

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NursingBird. 2022. "Obesity in Adolescents as a Health Issue." November 18, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/obesity-in-adolescents-as-a-health-issue/.

1. NursingBird. "Obesity in Adolescents as a Health Issue." November 18, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/obesity-in-adolescents-as-a-health-issue/.


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NursingBird. "Obesity in Adolescents as a Health Issue." November 18, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/obesity-in-adolescents-as-a-health-issue/.