Rachel’s Rants: Obesity epidemic tramples world


America runs on Dunkin. I don’t know about you, but I know I can’t get in a good workout after eating a doughnut. Maybe that’s why America is the second most overweight country in the world according to Nationmaster.com.

Obesity is a problem in high schools across the country and can easily be fixed. According to The American Heart Association, the rate of overweight children and teenagers has tripled since 1963. If teenagers make healthy food choices and work out, they will get in shape. Why don’t they?

Teenagers flock to unhealthy fast food joints like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s that serve greasy food because it’s cheap. Fast food chains are convenient and taste great. When people put junk into their bodies, the result can only be to feel like junk. Like they say, you are what you eat.  People feel much more energetic, and generally happier, when they don’t eat junk food according to USNews.com.

The pressure of school, homework, athletics, and maintaining a social life also makes teenagers stress-eat, which leads to even more stress about physical appearance.

Overweight teenagers are likely to become depressed, get bullied, and are more at risk for diabetes according to TeensHealth.org. Being overweight as a teenager makes people more likely to be overweight as an adult as well.

There are healthier food options, even for stress-eaters. For example, have an apple instead of a bag of chips and eat lighter meals and grab healthy foods for snacking.

By eating healthier even half the time, teenagers can lose weight.

Exercising is another issue. According to Livestrong.com, studies show that overweight people are intimidated by gyms and health clubs. Many overweight people feel that they are being compared to fitter, healthier people when at the gym.  Negative self-esteem that stems from being overweight is causing people to stay overweight. It’s a vicious cycle.

There are many different ways to exercise and lose weight.

1. Teenagers can exercise at home by doing do sit-ups, push-ups, crunches, and jumping jacks.

2. Another option is joining a sports team. There are even some teams at JC that aren’t as competitive as soccer or lacrosse.

3. There are simpler alternatives like walking a mile or two every day.

The obesity epidemic that plagues American high schools can be cured. All it takes is motivation and willpower.

Rachel Amhrein is a Multimedia Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.