The Causes and Effects of Youth Obesity

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Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “With a new day comes new strengths and new thoughts” ( “In 2010, scientific studies shown 45 million children had been diagnosed with obesity; averaging one in five kids” (Centers for disease and control prevention) (Bhadoria, Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo ,Sahoo, Sofi, 2015). Unfortunately, as the years progressed, childhood obesity has almost “tripled, averaging one in three children being diagnosed” (American Heart Association). According to Dr. Went, “by the year 2030 60% of the world will be obese” (Wenk, 2015). Whether it be for “convenience, cravings, hunger,” children’s lives are becoming at risk everyday (Bhadoria ,Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015). Fortunately, the following paper will educate the audience with the definition of obesity, causes, consequences, and most importantly prevention.

To continue, one may ask, “What is the definition of obesity? How are you diagnosed?” According to the U.S. Library of Medicine, the definition of obesity is “having too much body fat”. In relation, this condition can lead to chronic diseases, decreased cognitive abilities, psychological struggles, and the disdain for healthy foods. Furthermore, medical professionals consider a child to be obese if they are above the 95th percentile for their weight growth and overweight if they are greater than 85%. Although there are many possible causes to this wicked monster, the most common include a poor diet, and lack of physical activity (Bhadoria ,Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015).

In correlation, research suggests, it is normal for children to consume the same food/beverage products as their guardians (Bhadoria, Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015). For instance, if a child’s guardian decides to eat a donut for breakfast; in comparison, the adolescent gains a stronger desire to also eat a donut. In relation to this discovery, it is evident children follow in their role-models’ footsteps (Bhadoria, Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015). Comparatively, recent data also shows most individuals determine their foods based on the following factors: “cravings, convince, price, and hunger” (Bhadoria, Choundary,Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015). For example, guardians who work long hours everyday may decide to quickly drive through a McDonalds, order a pizza, or snag a few microwave dinners from the nearest convenience store. Whatever the choice might be, constant exposure to horrid, processed foods causes the child to view healthy foods as odd (Bhadoria, Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015). Instead, they will associate processed foods with nutrition, pleasure, and a sense of maturity and independence.

Moreover, another factor that contributes to obesity is the lack of physical activity (Bhadoria, Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015).

As data reveals, most obese children live a sedentary life (Bhadoria, Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015). Moreover, causing them to sit more frequently, with little to no movement throughout the day is the worst culprit in a sedentary lifestyle. Instead, most obese children spend their days watching TV and increase their desire to consume sweets advertised on TV (Bhadoria, Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015). However, some absence of physical activity relates to environmental and psychological factors (Bhadoria, Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015). For instance, information provides clarity into more recent social development, since the dawn of the automobile, of parents driving their children to school often, as opposed to traveling on foot (Bhadoria, Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015). Whether the reason was unsafe routes, or a snowy day, it is still a slightly probable cause for obesity.

Moving on, another possible cause for lack of movement is school gym classes (Bhadoria, Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015).

Obese adolescents tend to be picked last if at all for team enriched games (Bhadoria, Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015). This often strips of their “self-esteem, positive body image, and confidence”(Bhadoria, Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015). As a result, it can cause “motivation loss, depression, anxiety, and make them feel are in a danger zone” (Bhadoria ,Choundary ,Kumar, Sahoo ,Sahoo, Sofi, 2015). Unfortunately, this is not the only effect it can have on the child’s brain.

Psychologist Dr. Wenk suggests that the “fat cells that run throughout the obese child’s body release these specialized proteins called cytokines” (Wenk, 2015). They are “released through the blood and head immediately to the brain” (Wenk, 2015). More specifically, they can cause “shrinkage to the hippocampus (where memories are held)” (Wenk, 2015). Disturbingly, this is an “early indicator for Alzheimer's Disease” (Wenk. 2015). In addition, it can also “weaken the child’s cognitive capabilities and create more behavioral problems in a classroom setting” (Wenk, 2015).

To continue, aside from the likelihood of obtaining type two diabetes, these children are susceptible to many serious health conditions which include, “fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, skin conditions, menstrual abnormalities, orthopedic issues, and impaired balance” (Bhadoria, Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015). In addition, “it is also known to prevent social interaction, decrease confidence levels and self-esteem” (Bhadoria, Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015).

Fortunately, taking all of this information into consideration encourages the point that there are many ways we can prevent childhood obesity. First, parents’ promotion of healthy eating habits/foods and limiting, if not eliminating, sugary items (American Heart Association, 2015). As stated previously, children tend to follow in the footsteps of their role models (Bhadoria, Choundary, Kumar, Sahoo, Sahoo, Sofi, 2015). Therefore, by guardians promoting and providing these nutrient filled foods, it will contribute to a healthy lifestyle for the child’s sake. For instance, introducing zucchini noodles instead of angel hair noodles when making pasta, or a mozzarella dough the next time making pizza. Modifying dishes will help parents and their children to live a happy life (American Heart Association, 2015). Finally, aid children in understanding the importance of exercise, and help them to continue to stay active (American Heart Association, 2015).

In conclusion, the poisonous obesity-monster that continues to grow throughout America everyday causing our nation to get more unhealthy each day. Hopefully, this paper educated the audience on the background knowledge of obesity, its triggers, consequences, and advice on how to prevent it or stop it. As Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. America, be that change in the world and stay healthy!


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The Causes and Effects of Youth Obesity. (2022, Feb 01). Retrieved November 28, 2023 , from

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