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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Letter to the Editor
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Teen obesity linked to sedentary lifestyle, heredity

Epidemics are defined as a widespread occurrence of a particular undesirable phenomenon. Epidemics such as AIDS, have not hit America as hard as other nations. However, an epidemic knocking at our door is obesity.

Eight out of every ten Americans over the age of 25 are overweight, and the incidence of childhood obesity has more than quadrupled since 1986. These steadily skyrocketing figures pose nightmares for people nationwide as hospital dues have tripled in the last 20 years in cases related to childhood obesity (winltdusa.com).

Obesity can be lead to by several factors. A sedentary lifestyle-sitting in front of television screen or computer monitor for hours on end, while getting zero physical activity will in most cases lead to obesity.

?In a normal week, I will exercise all of an hour or less,? Jonathan Bingman, ?08, said. ?I don?t exercise a whole lot.?

Doctors have stated that at least a half hour of physical activity a day is needed to maintain a healthy body. However, more than that is not harmful.

?With basketball conditioning and practices I?m exercising over 10 hours a week,? Tyler Graham, ?09, said.

Hereditary factors will attribute to it as well. Those that have families with a high incidence of obesity put to higher risk all children born. Their metabolism takes after their forebears and retains or stores fat regardless, and their bones are thicker.

Obesity is can also be caused by setting no limits on food intake. If what is being consumed is not being worked off as well, there is the propensity to store excess energy which translates into fat and over time will develop into obesity.

?I spend about three hours a day in front of a screen,? Taylor Brouwer, ?07, said. Screen time is anything spent with a computer or television screen.

?Limiting TV or other electronic time to two or fewer hours a day is a good way to get out of being sedentary,? Dr. Marty Martin, M.D. said. ?Also, you should not be drinking more than one 12oz. soda a day.?

Not only is obesity a problem, the complications from being greatly overweight are skyrocketing as well. Americans spend over $60 billion annually on Type II diabetes, one of the leading complications from obesity.

?There has been an alarming increase in childhood diabetes,? Martin said. ?There used to be two types that we would classify as adult diabetes and child diabetes. Now there are tons of cases of children with the ?adult type diabetes.??

According to the Healthy Fresno report, the Fresno area has a higher concentration of diabetes that that of Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Also, more than 30% of children are overweight or in danger of being obese. (healthyfresno.org)

On 10/1/2006, 226 students out of 298 on campus were polled, and students get on average, 5.4 hours of television time, while they balance it out with an average of 6 hours of exercise.

While obesity levels are rising, prevention and suppression is available. Along with limiting time spent doing nothing, food choice is important as well. Choose colorful foods, fruits and vegetables, instead of convenience foods. Also, do not take food and then eat in front of a computer or TV.

Increased physical activity is another prevention method. Taking a family bike ride is a good way to get the whole family moving.

In any case, focusing on positive aspects is always best. Instead of pounding weight loss into an overweight child?s head, encourage them by rewarding them for changes.

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