While many parents think fast-food is harmless to a typical teen’s diet, it can cause weight problems as well as health problems that can follow them through adulthood.
How would you like your teen to be like my cousin? I have a cousin who weights almost 500lbs and she is in her early twenties. Her parents found it easier to feed her fast-food for her meals because of their busy schedules while she was growing up. She has a lot of health issues now and fights to live every day. She has problems breathing, walking and has Type 2 diabetes. If she had been taught at a young age about eating healthy, she would not have these issues today. The statistics show that teens that eat fast-food more than twice per week are over weight and end up with health issues. My cousin is a good example that this is true.
Parents today do not watch what their children eat on a daily basis. Parents are working long hours or just in a rush to get teen’s to soccer practice or gymnastics. The fast way to feed their family and make their schedules is to stop at a fast-food restaurant on the way. The children eat in the car while the parent is eating and driving them where they need to be. This lifestyle is part of the problem. When teens are use to this they tend to snack on unhealthy food as well. Parents tend to purchase unhealthy snacks that are fast and available. When teens go to the cabinet for a snack it is not fruit and vegetables that they see. It is snack cakes, and candy. Teens that grow up from childhood eating this way will continue as teens and young adults. It is said that children with two working parents eat fast-food two to three days a week compared to a child who has only one parent working. This is why teens with two working parents are more at risk to become obese.
Obesity in teens has increased over the years. One reason is due to the consumption of fast-food more than twice per week. More teens are left to themselves to find something to eat when at friends homes or out on the town. The easy thing for a teen that has not been taught differently is to have fast-food to curb their hunger. Teens with a fast-food restaurant with in walking distance from their school are also at higher risk of obesity. This gives them access to eat lunch there every day. One meal at a fast food restaurant is the equivalent of a full day’s calorie intake. This means that a normal teen that eats fast food more than twice per week compared to once per week will gain an average of 10 pounds. “Among children and teens ages six to 19, 15 percent are overweight according to the 1999-2000 data, or triple what the proportion was in 1980” (Palo Alto Medical Foundation). This means almost 9 million teens have weight problems and will have health issues in the future if they are not taught what is healthy and good for them to eat. Teens that are close to these restaurants are at high risk for obesity. The risk factors for health issues in over weight teens increases with every extra pound they put on.
Teens with weight issues are at risk for a number of health problems including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and some forms of cancer (Palo Alto Medical Foundation). These health issues will follow teens into their adulthood. Being overweight can also affect a person’s joints, breathing, sleep, mood, and energy levels. The numbers of health issues that can arise for a teen overweight are great. They all start out with the weight issue and end in health concerns that a teen should not have to deal with at such a young age. Some teen’s health issues can also be a large factor in their weight issue. It is shone that if teens are unhappy for any reason (class mates, parents, and lack of boyfriend or girlfriend) they eat. No teen ever takes the time to fix something healthy they go for what is fast and available. These health issues are very serious and could end with death. Teens should be made aware by both their doctors and parents to these health issues and what the teens can expect in the future. Most teens are very smart, and when health issues are explained in detail they will make the correct choice to get healthy and well again. Teens have proven over the years that when well informed about a subject they can and will make the right choice. Teens should be taught the health issues that can arise from certain fast-food ingredient’s, to assist them when they are looking for something to eat or snack.
Teens do not have a clue what ingredients are put into their food when eating at fast food restaurants. For starters McDonalds eggs are made with the following ingredients; Sodium acid pyrophosphate, citric acid, and monosodium for starters. These ingredients are not only bad for your weight but some are not even allowed to be used in the making of cat food as they have not been proven safe for animals. Some ingredients in fast foods can not be found in local grocery stores because they are not food. They can be found at your local hardware store, low tox antifreeze for one example. This item and others like it are consumed on a daily basis by teens today. These ingredients are some of the reasons teens have weight issues, which causes health problems in the future. A Big MAC has 540 calories. Teens that eat at their local McDondonald’s consumes one of these a day. Add fries and a large soft drink and there went the day’s calorie allowance and possibly half of tomorrows. All fast-food restaurants use the same ingredients to preserve their food. The food is pre-made and shipped to each restaurant and needs to be preserved for the shipping.
Teens that are not properly taught how to eat healthy have weight and health issues that can follow them into adulthood. Studies show eating fast-food more than twice a week causes weight issues in teens that will follow with health issues. A teen can become a type 2 diabetic, develop heart problems, as well as emotional and self-confidence issues. For parents interested in keeping their teens healthy, they need to make sure their children are taught how to eat healthy as children so these good habits are practiced into the teen years.