Teenage obesity trends are on the rise. You have probably already heard that obesity is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States, however did you know these statistics are extending to children and teens as well?

The numbers are rising and with them incidences of obesity related illnesses such as type two diabetes. Since 1980 the percentage of obese teenagers has tripled to 15%. Before there can be any changes in these numbers it is first important to understand why the rates of teen obesity have gone up some much.

Activity Levels

It is generally thought that lack of activity is the largest contributing factor to teen obesity trends. However, current studies show that although young people are gaining weight the activity levels have stayed fairly consistent over the years. So, while television and video games may contribute a bit to the trend there is not a direct connection.

Some professionals suggest it is not the amount of activity but the effectiveness. Teens are not getting enough intense exercise in their routines and weight gain is the result. Physical activity levels for teens needs to increase, at least in intensity if there is to be a change in the current trends.

Nutrition

Perhaps the largest reason for increasing obesity levels in teens is nutrition. Life has become fast paced and most foods are high calorie prepackaged affairs that lack much in the way of nutritional value. Add to this the fact that fast food is high in calories and fat and you have a recipe for an obesity disaster. Of course there is also the teenage penchant for chips, soda and candy bars that contribute to the problem.

Facing the Problem

Education is probably the best defense against rising teen obesity trends. Parents and caregivers should be having frank discussions with their teens about the caloric value of junk and fast foods as well as the need to get fit to stay healthy. Many parents decide to make weight loss a family affair by starting walks, fun family sports, biking trips and much more.

Weight gain really is not a mystery though many people feel that it is, consuming more calories than you burn will result in weight gain every time and the only way to reverse the process is to reduce caloric intake and increase caloric burn.

Simple Changes

Diet is a dirty word too many people, though just making some simple changes can make a world of difference. For instance, drinking water instead of soda can trim 300 calories per day from your diet. Considering that losing one pound requires shedding 3500 calories. Which means within less than two weeks you could lose a pound by just losing the soda!

Conclusion

Teen obesity trends have been growing over the last couple of decades and the health results can be devastating. In order to change these trends exercise and nutrition are key. If you are a teen or the caregiver of a teen facing a weight problem there are some simple steps you can take to reverse the situation.