What Causes Obesity In Teens?

Published: May 13, 2015
Dear What Causes Obesity In Teens?,

What causes obesity in teens? How many teens are obese?

Dear What Causes Obesity In Teens?,

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), in 2012 more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.

As for the cause, according to the CDCoverweight and obesity are the result of ‘caloric imbalance’—too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed—and are affected by various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors.”

The main contributing factors of being overweight or obese are lifestyle habits, particularly when it comes to what you eat and how physically active you are. To help prevent obesity in children and adolescents, the following items are key:

  • Children, teens and parents need to be educated about healthy eating and implement healthy eating practices in the family.

  • Children, teens and parents need to be educated about the importance of being physically active and find ways to incorporate physical activity into daily routines.

  • Doctors need to educate children, teens and their parents about obesity prevention measures, complications that can result from being obese, and how to eat in a healthy way and stay physically fit.

  • Schools and child-care settings need to be environments for children and teens that promote physical activity and healthy eating in terms of offering those things to children and teens, as well as educating them about it.

  • It would be helpful for the media not to target children and teens with unhealthy food items in their marketing campaigns.

  • It would be helpful for companies that manufacture foods and establishments that sell foods to make the foods healthier in terms of content, methods of cooking, and portion size. It would be helpful for food establishments to carry healthier food options (i.e., not just chips, fries, hot dogs and ice cream).

If you have any further questions or concerns about this topic, speak to your doctor, your school nurse or your school health teacher. For more information you can also read the TeensHealth article, When Being Overweight Is a Health Problem.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.