Obesity (Texas)

"Exercise is one of the best ways in preventing the rapid growth of obesity in America."-Lee Haney










Context (History)

What is Obesity? Obesity is the condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body.This condition has been an issue since the beginning of the fast foodrestaurants in the 1960's and the development of electronic devices such as computers, laptops, IPads,Games Consoles (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii) in 21st Century has made people lack of the exercise in their daily life.The intake of both fast food and technology has made Texas the #14 city in America to be declared an obese city.Since the 1990's, the obesity rate (Percentage of Population) has extremely increased from 12.3 to 31.7 in the state of Texas.According to Men's Health.com,Houston is Overall Ranked #9 fattest cities in 2011.This three events have made a huge impact in children's/Teen's and Adults to become obese in outstanding percentages within the Houston Area. The fact that Texas is ranked the #14 obese city in the U.S is a big surprise on why Houstonians are obese if the city offers different activities or events to sign up to do. What are the reasons for this increasing obesity within the Children's and Teenagers is it the frequent fast food consumption? The lack of exercise? The time spend using Technology?

Analysis(Issue)

Children's Obesity and Teen's Obesity

Children and Teen's obesity has become a major issue in the State of Texas and and in the Houston Area. In the State of Texas, the number of children and teen's who are obese has doubled in the last 20 years. This means that 35 percent of children and teens are either obese or overweight and continue to rise. The reasons why children and teenagers are obese; Technology, Fast Food/Junk Food Consumption, and Lack of Exercise (Physical Activity).

Technology

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Since the development of electronic devices in recent years, children and teenagers have become obese because of the technology advancement and its popular demand. Children and Teenagers spend most of their time playing video games, watching T.V, or surf the internet. The time spent on Technology is between 3 to 6 hours a day.On this time range children and teenagers consume food while watching T.V or play video games. The food consumed develops into saturated fatty acids that stay in the abdominal area which creates fat built up in the body. Every time children and teenagers consume food without doing physical activity, the Body Mass Index builds up and develops chronic diseases. These chronic diseases can be Diabetes, High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, Early Heart Disease, Bone problems, and Skin Condition (heat rash, fungal infections, and acne). Instead of riding a pedal bike, children ride scooters and motorized cars to avoid physical activity.According to the International Journal of Obesity, a Canadian study conducted in 2003, linked 7-to-11 year old's television and computer use to a significantly increased risk to being obese or overweight .The Study found that children who spent 3 or more hours a day in front of technology had between a 17- and 44-percent increase of risk of being overweight or a 10-to-6-percent increase risk in obesity. This means that children and teenagers are not taking seriously the risk that obesity has included.("Technology", Livestrong).

Fast Food and Junk Food

Since the first fast food restaurant opened in 1960's consumers replaced home-cook meals for fast food burgers and fries. After more fast food restaurants opened their doors, people did not cooked home-cooked meals instead consumers wanted an easy meal to eat which was fast food meals. Until this day, most of the consumers eat a fast food meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Most children and teenagers prefer to eat a fast food instead of a home-cook meal. Eating a fast food meal is the cheapest food that children and teenagers would eat.
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A Happy Meal (Chicken Nuggets, 1% Low Fat Milk Jug, Apple Dippers)


Calories
330
Cholesterol
35mg (12%)
Protein
17g
Calories from Fat
130
Sodium
490mg (20%)
Vitamin A
500IU (10%)
Total Fat
14g (22%)
Total Carbs
32g (11%)
Vitamin C
192mg (320%)
Saturated Fat
3.5g (18%)
Dietary Fiber
1g (2%)
Calcium
370mg (35%)
Trans Fat
0g
Sugars
18g
Iron
0.5mg (4%)


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A Big Mac From McDonald's


540 Calories
25g Protein
29g Fat (45%)
45g Carbs (15%)
1040mg Sodium (43%)
Calories from Fat
260
Dietary Fiber
3g (13%)
Calcium
250mg (25%)
Saturated Fat
10g (50%)
Sugars
9g
Iron
4mg (25%)
Trans Fat
1.5g
Vitamin A
260IU (6%)
Vitamin C
1mg (2%)
Cholesterol
75mg (25%)
Food Exchanges 3 carbohydrate, 3.5 medium fat meat, 2.5 fat
Serving Size 7.5 oz (214 g)

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For example, A happy meal from McDonald's (Chicken Nuggets, 1% Low Fat Milk Jug, Apple Dippers) for $3.78 dollars. A Big Mac cost around $5.35 plus tax. The nutrition facts of both meals are surprising for children and teens. The Dietary Recommendations for children and adolescents are: Children of 4-8 can take 1200 calories (Female), 1400 calories (Male) a day. For adolescents between 14-18 years, 1800 calories(Female) and 2200 calories(Male) a day with physical activity.The more fast food children and teenagers eat, they are more likely to be obese and become an obese adult. If they know only that fast food makes their health worst, if eaten frequently. They would visit the hospital frequently they are healthy and can live a long life ahead. In some cases, develops High Blood Pressure, Shortness of Breath, Irregular Heart Palpitations, High Cholesterol, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Heart Attacks, Strokes, and Sleep Apnea to name some few. Also, even death can happen, if fast food is eaten frequently. This conditions are consequences of children and teenagers eating too much fast food. Also, junk food that has no nutrition is the cause of children and teens obesity. Junk Food that has Sugar/High Fructose Corn Syrup. These two factors are the reason why children and teens are obese or becoming obese. Everyday, Children and teens drink or eat at least two to four items a day that have this two ingredients in them. Some examples are: Soft Drinks, Breakfast Cereals(Frosted and Sugary), Processed and Packaged foods, Cookies, Cakes, and Microwaveable meals. These items are making children and teens become obese. These Sugar/High Fructose Corn Syrup items are processed to become delicious, sweet, delightful items to eat. As the Sugar/High Fructose Corn Syrup foods are consumed, the body reacts differently to any other types of sugar. It causes health problems such as weight gain, dental cavities, and triglyceride levels( which boosts high heart risks). These two items need to be prevented from any snack or food that children and teens consume, in order to decrease the high percentage of children and teens obesity. For example, organic snacks or foods that are not processed with Sugar/High Fructose Corn Syrup. Snacks that come from Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.

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Lack Of Exercise

The Lack of Exercise in children and teenagers is not the reason for children's and teens obesity. Children and Teens lack of exercise by spending 2 to 4 hours a day either playing video games or watching T.V. Instead children and teens should at least spend 1hour a day doing physical activity such as playing a sport or any other activity that includes physical movement. But, children and teens prefer to watch T.V and play video games instead of doing physical activity for 1 hour.'

The Journal Obesity Reviews, Conducted a study in 2009, Dr. Wang said that "lack of exercise was not to blame for the rise in U.S children and teens." Dr. Wang a researcher of John Hopkins University and his research team did a survey data from 1991 and 2007 of U.S High School Students. They found High School Students physical activity has not changed significantly in the past two decades. But the population of children has increased who are obese." Also, the study found that "teenagers did at least one hour of physical activity a day, seven days a week. During the study, 43 percent of students spent three or more hours watching T.V on school days but the number decreased to 35 percent in 2007."Dr.Wang said," these findings that waning exercise levels are " not likely the major explanation pf the recent increase in obesity among U.S adolescents". Dr. Wang also said other factors were the cause of such disease between children and teens. The factors were unhealthy diets. Children and teens have a high consumption of junk food which includes Sugar/High Fructose Corn Syrup in foods and snacks. Eating such things can be an addiction researchers at Scripps Research Institute explained. An addiction to junk food is similar to a rat fed high fat high calorie food that triggered the brain to consume more of the high fat and calorie foods. That's how children and teens react when eating Sugar/High Fructose Corn Syrup they want more and more to satisfy their hunger everyday.The reason why children and teens are obese is not the lack of exercise, is the ingredients found in the foods and snacks that children and teens consume that are making them obese.("Lack of Exercise", Low Density Lifestyle).
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How can we prevent children's and teens obesity?
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To prevent children and teens obesity their are some steps to adhere.

Preventing Obesity in Children

Step 1

Start with yourself. If Parents are overweight your kids are likely to become overweight. It's the parents job to set an example for the children.
Step 2
Teach them how to eat. Limit the junk food and sugary drinks. Provide and Encourage them to eat vegetables, fruits and promote them to drink water often. Don't force the children to finish their plate.
Step 3
Get Active with your children. Teach them how to play a sport, or ride a bike.
Step 4
Enroll your children in sports. Allow the children to play a sport. Let them choose a sport( If they are shy) and if they don't like the sport, they could always change it. Team Sports help children build confidence and social skills. They are less likely to develop weight problems.
Step 5
Monitor sedentary activity. Do not permit your children to be couch potatoes, watch T.V or play video games. Set a time range at least an hour for every sedentary activity.
Step 6
Develop your child's confidence and self-esteem. Do not call them names if they are overweight. Promote weight loss for health reasons and tell them that your happy the way they are.
Step 7
Pack Your child's lunch. As we all know that school lunches might not be nutritious. Pack their lunch with healthy food that they love, that would encourage them to eat healthier. Some Organic Fruit snacks and Veggies.

Preventing Obesity in Adolescents

Step 1
Encourage your teen to participate in a sport. If the female teenagers does not want to interact in a sport, find a private class. Parents can hire a personal trainer or try some dance lessons for calorie burning.
Step 2
Promote healthy eating. Interact with your teen by preparing a meal and as a family in the family table.
Step 3
Check in with your teenager. Often teenagers cover other problems they are experiencing. Let them know your their best friend and they can trust you with any problem they are going through.
Step 4
Focus on healthy behaviors and physical activity don't worry on the numbers in the scale.
Step 5
Monitor time range. Teenagers often spend time using the computer, watch T.V, and video games. Promote them to spend more time doing physical activity instead of using Technology.
Also, Dietary Recommendations for children and adolescents are extremely recommended. In order to have healthy lives for them and their future kids. The Diet Recommendations for children and teenagers are illustrated below.


AHA Scientific Statement

Dietary Recommendations for Children and Adolescents


TABLE 3. Daily Estimated Calories and Recommended Servings for Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Milk/Dairy by Age and Gender

1 Year
2–3 Years
4–8 Years
9–13 Years
14–18 Years
*Calorie estimates are based on a sedentary lifestyle. Increased physical activity will require additional calories: by 0-200 kcal/d if moderately physically active; and by 200–400 kcal/d if very physically active.
†For youth 2 years and older; adopted from Table 2, Table 3, and Appendix A-2 of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2005)14; http://www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines. Nutrient and energy contributions from each group are calculated according to the nutrient-dense forms of food in each group (eg, lean meats and fat-free milk).
‡Milk listed is fat-free (except for children under the age of 2 years). If 1%, 2%, or whole-fat milk is substituted, this will utilize, for each cup, 19, 39, or 63 kcal of discretionary calories and add 2.6, 5.1, or 9.0 g of total fat, of which 1.3, 2.6, or 4.6 g are saturated fat.
§Serving sizes are 1/4 cup for 1 year of age, 1/3 cup for 2 to 3 years of age, and 1/2 cup for ≥4 years of age. A variety of vegetables should be selected from each subgroup over the week.
∥Half of all grains should be whole grains.
¶For 1-year-old children, calculations are based on 2% fat milk. If 2 cups of whole milk are substituted, 48 kcal of discretionary calories will be utilized. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that low-fat/reduced fat milk not be started before 2 years of age.
Calories†
900 kcal
1000 kcal



Female


1200 kcal
1600 kcal
1800 kcal
Male


1400 kcal
1800 kcal
2200 kcal
Fat
30%–40% kcal
30%–35% kcal
25%–35% kcal
25%–35% kcal
25%–35% kcal
Milk/dairy‡
2 cups¶
2 cups
2 cups
3 cups
3 cups
Lean meat/beans
1.5 oz
2 oz

5 oz

Female


3 oz

5 oz
Male


4 oz

6 oz
Fruits§
1 cup
1 cup
1.5 cups
1.5 cups

Female




1.5 cups
Male




2 cups
Vegetables§
3/4 cup
1 cup



Female


1 cup
2 cups
2.5 cups
Male


1.5 cup
2.5 cups
3 cups
Grains∥
2 oz
3 oz



Female


4 oz
5 oz
6 oz
Male


5oz
6 oz
7 oz




Conclusion

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After being ranked by Men's Health.com, Houston the #9 fattest city and #14 in the State of Texas in the U.S, we have to make a change on how much time Children and Adolescents spend on Technology, the way they eat, and to promote them to be active in physical activity to become the fittest city in the U.S. Children and Adolescents should start thinking about their health in the present, therefore in the future they would not be worried if they are needed medical attention for any health problems that obesity caused. Parents have a big role in their children's and teens lives to promote Health Education and Physical Activity. Also, to limit the Sugar/High Fructose Corn Syrup, and Fatty Foods Consumption that can cause such disease like obesity with the Children and Adolescents.

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/112/13/2061/T3.expansion.html
http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Texas-obesity-rate-rises-but-rank-among-states-1605215.php
www.dshs.state.tx.us./Obesity/pdf/TxObesityData.doc
www.lowdensitylifestyle.com/its-the-food-not-the-lack-of-exercise-causing-teen-obesity/
www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fructose-corn-syrup/AN01588
www.turnoffyourtv.com/heatheducation/junkfood.html
www.livestrong.com/article/165859-how-to-prevent-obesity-in-children-adolescents/
www.livestrong.com/article/46320-obesity-children-technology/
www.exercise4weightloss.com/teen-calorie-intake.html
http://www.mcdonalds.com/content/us/en/meal_builder.html
http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/product_nutrition.sandwiches.255.Big-Mac.html