Internationally, obesity and overweight in adolescents has been on the increase leading to serious public health concern in many countries, as this has been threatening the sustainability of primary health care delivery. This is a major social issue, and it has been described as a health issue as well because obesity and being overweight is an independent risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases that increase the risk of mortality and morbidity. Over the last twenty years, the number of children and adolescents experiencing obesity has increased considerably. In the United States, for example, it is estimated that 25% of all adolescents in the country are obese or overweight, and this has been affecting the quality of life of the affected. It has also been established that obesity in adolescents is affecting all socio-economic groups in the country. Obesity affects all adolescents irrespective of one’s gender, age, ethnicity, or race.
The aetiopathogenesis of adolescent obesity in the United States is multi-factorial, and it may include factors such as neuroendocrine, genetic, metabolic rate, psychological, socio-cultural and environmental factors. Other co-morbid conditions such as ones cardiovascular, metabolic, orthopaedic, psychological, neurological, pulmonary, hepatic and renal disorders that happen later in people’s lives have been associated with adolescent obesity (DeFronzo, Ferrannini, Alberti, Zimmet, & Alberti, 2015). This goes on to show the seriousness of the issue and the negative impact it has on the society and the victims suffering from the condition. For this reason, it is crucial for the community to come up with measures that are aimed at combating the issue to ensure that adolescents and others suffering from obesity live a healthy and quality life.
Every social issue affecting a segment of the society has its stressors, and it is essential to identify these stresses to be able to deal with them and help the victims of the issue feel better life. Research has shown that there is a correlation between obesity and overweight problems in adolescents and stress. Adolescents suffering from the problem of obesity are more than likely to suffer from anxiety than children with the right body weight. The main reason for this is that obese adolescents have low self-esteem because the fact that they are more significant than the rest of the children makes them look different (DeFronzo et al., 2015). Another major issue that leads to stressors in these adolescents is the fact that many of them are bullied at school by their peers. The use of internet has increased tremendously, many of these adolescent youths visit social media pages regularly, and this provides another avenue where many of them are bullied because of their weight issues. Hall (2015) states that the leading factor that causes depression in adolescents in the united states is bullying.
Having seen the challenges these adolescents go through daily, it is essential for society to come up with support options that would help the adolescents live a healthy life. Firstly, they should start by encouraging them to eat healthily and participate in physical events where they would start losing some of the weight (Hall, 2015). They should also form a group that helps and support all obese adolescents in society. By being in a group, these adolescents will appreciate the fact that they are not the only ones suffering from the condition. This will motivate them to start working out and eating healthy.
DeFronzo, R. A., Ferrannini, E., Alberti, K. G. M. M., Zimmet, P., & Alberti, G. (Eds.).
(2015). Obesity in Adolescents. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Hall, J. E. (2015). Obesity and overweight in adolescents. Elsevier Health Sciences.
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