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Generation X-tra Large

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Generation X-tra Large Ali Campbell In past years, there has been a great deal of concern throughout North America about the prevalence of certain conditions, which affect teenagers more than any other age group. Eating disorders, drug abuse, stress and peer pressure have all had their moment in the spotlight. In the eighties Bulimia and suicide made their mark. In the nineties, teen violence reached it peak. Now, years later, there is a new villain in the town of adolescence. His name is not Anorexia, Drug Abuse or Peer Pressure. His targets are random, crossing class, race, gender and ethnic barriers. His name is Obesity, and he is victimizing teens at an unprecedented rate. Health Canada says that obesity is an excess of fatty tissue on a person's body. Some experts believe you are obese if you exceed the "desirable" weight for your height, build, gender and age by more than 20 per cent. By this definition, almost 14 per cent of 12 - 17 year olds in Canada can be classified as obese. ...read more.


The disregard of these factors causes about three quarters of the obesity cases in adolescents in Canada. There are things that contribute to obesity in adolescents that we have no control over. These factors cause the other one-quarter of obesity cases in adolescents. Included in this category of unalterable factors are genetic and hereditary problems and family lifestyle. Hereditary problems may be passed on from one family member to another. Children with obese parents are genetically more likely to become obese themselves. Family lifestyle is another unalterable factor. Family income and the difference between one or two working parents makes a contribution to the prevalence of obesity in adolescents. When a house is home to two working parents, proper food consumption is generally not a significant issue, and nutritious food is often traded for fast foods, which are high in fat and low in nutritional value. While an inactive lifestyle is bad for your health, being too busy to prepare and eat a nutritious meal at regular times is a destructive pattern, which can add extra pounds on unsuspecting individuals. The dangers of obesity are numerous, and the penalties can last a lifetime. ...read more.


The importance of a healthy diet, including the proper serving amounts of each of the four food groups according to Canada's Food Guide should be introduced early and stressed regularly in families. In addition, regular physical activity is essential to sustaining a healthy weight. The benefits of vigorous activity have been proven in numerous studies. It is said to improve metabolism, cardiac health, emotional health, and self esteem. The combination of these two lifestyle options is desirable for a healthy teenager. Obesity is a growing issue in North America, and the seriousness of the problem needs to be understood by everyone in order for it to be stopped. If the rate at which obesity is affecting adolescents now is in any way indicative of our future, society will eventually have to deal with obesity in epidemic proportions. How sad is the world when young, healthy children grow to become lazy, gluttonous teenagers? It is the world in which we live, and it is in need of change. It is up to everyone to learn about the issue, and to take preventative actions to ensure that they do not turn into a statistic of this latest health scourge. ...read more.

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