Obesity in Adolescents
You see it everyday, news and information that bring to the front our problem with our weight. It is a national problem. It’s not just your older sedentary population; it’s not just your overworked middle-age population; and it’s not just your nerdy teenage population. It is a national epidemic.
The first question I always have, is how did we get here? How did we go from one of the most physically fit nations, to just wallowing in our weight?
Over the last thirty years, food nutritionists and the food industry as a whole have embraced the idea of lowering our fat intake. This was a direct result of the information published by the government that encouraged less egg consumption because of the cholesterol found in eggs. After that particular piece of information, doctors began to discover that when we consume fat, we have higher incidences of cholesterol problems. The logical conclusion: fat must be bad for you. And so, an entire generation as grown up with fat-free foods. A whole generation grew up believing that fat was what made us fat, clogged our arteries, and generally caused ill-health.
So what did we do? We turned to carbs to make up for the loss in taste of food that had the fat removed; for you see, fat is what gives many of our foods their delicious taste. When you remove the fat, the taste must be artificially injected into the food. The end result is a food that is higher in carbohydrate content, but lower in fat. Hence, all the wonderful labels displaying the claim of “fat free” but neglect to mention the higher level of carbohydrates. Lowered fat should have created a population of slim, trim, healthy people. Right?
We could not have been further from the truth. As it turns out, fat is a necessary part of our metabolic processes. We need the fat in order to properly utilize many of the vitamins and nutrients we consume. When did we make this discovery? Probably some thirty years too late for some people.
Now, we have an entire generation of young people, who have because of their high carbohydrate food choices, become a nation of obese adults. Never before has a nation recorded the kind of obesity problems this nation is facing now. Never before have we ever had so much, to have so little. These young people are experiencing low self-esteem, weight related health problems, and whole host of emotional problems, thanks to obesity issue. How can we try to help them correct this problem?
According to the guides published by the USDA, calorie needs vary from one age group to another, one gender to another. So how do you determine what your individual needs are? You can setup a journal for recording your daily caloric intake for about a month. Make a note of your weight each day. If you don’t gain any weight during the course of that month, you’re eating your recommended calorie level in order to maintain your weight. Now, take that calorie information, use the food pyramid and comprise a combination of foods that will help you achieve this recommended daily intake, and still be enough to be filling and please the palette. You now have an individualized healthy eating plan. This is the safe sure way to reach weight loss goals. It didn’t become a problem overnight, and it won’t go away overnight.