What, me obese? No way! Sadly, though according to the numbers presented by CDC.gov childhood obesity is becoming more and more of a problem. Obesity in today’s youth has not just doubled, but quadrupled in the past 30 years. Only seven percent of children were considered to be obese in the 1980’s; that number rose to an alarming 18 percent by 2012 (CDC.gov) Much like children, adolescents aged 12-19 years of age have seen an increase of people considered obese by 16 percent in the last 30 years.
What many people don’t know is what causes obesity, how to prevent it, as well as people not even realizing they are obese. Due to a study conducted by The University of North Carolina only a startling 15 percent of people realized they were obese.
There are many causes of obesity; however, do not become discouraged as most of them are able to be controlled. The simplest and most basic cause of obesity is overeating, which simply entails eating more than your body needs to properly function.
3,500 calories make up one pound of fat. If each day you were to eat an excess of 500 calories, by the end of the week you will have accumulated 3,500 excess calories and will most likely have gained a pound. In a Burger King Whopper meal, which consists of a Whopper sandwich, fries, and a coke there is a whopping total of 1,241 calories, 50 grams of fat, 175 grams of carbohydrates, and 30 grams of protein. If you are someone who only needs 2,000 calories per day, eating a Whopper meal would take up more than half of your daily required intake. Don’t let the data scare you, though, there are ways to prevent overeating and ways to keep you from falling into the fast food trap.
Using methods such as daily exercise and eating a proper diet can help prevent weight gain and give a person more confidence. In terms of what you’re eating, instead of going for a fast food run, try cooking your own meals at home and fill your plate with whole and natural food sources such as fruits, lean meats, and vegetables. To prevent overeating, instead of going for a second serving at the all-you-can-eat buffet, try drinking more water; you may just be thirsty or dehydrated, as dehydration causes your brain to send false signals to your body indicating hunger when all it really is, is a lack of fluid intake.
AS for exercise, whether that is playing a sport, going on walks everyday, or going to the gym just make sure you get out and get moving. Health and fitness isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of thing. Find out what you love and enjoy doing and go do it! The best plan is the one that you will stick to.