What are the Signs of Obesity in Teenagers?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 25 April 2019
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The three primary signs of obesity in teenagers may be poor eating habits, high body fat levels, and lack of exercise. Not all teenagers whom these signs apply to are obese, but a large number are. Another common sign of obesity in teenagers is depression along with a very negative self-image, which often causes emotional eating, thereby possibly worsening obesity symptoms. Teenagers who are obese tend to be much more likely to either have or develop problems like high blood pressure and diabetes. It is possible for obese teenagers to get their eating habits under control and increase their exercise frequency to prevent the onset of serious health problems in the future.


Obesity in teenagers usually begins with poor eating habits. Teenagers who are severely overweight often live on foods that are not only full of sugar, but also very high in fat. Junk food such as sodas, greasy hamburgers, and overly processed snack items such as chips, crackers, and sweets might all be partially to blame for the rise in obesity in teenagers. Research suggests that binging on unhealthy food may be considered emotional eating, and teenagers who are obese often struggle with this problem. The emotional eating cycle often begins because food that tastes good might temporarily bring happiness to an unhappy person, but after the eating binge is over, depression, guilt, and shame tend to set in because the person who ate the food may feel disappointed with himself for eating too much.

Teenagers who are obese might also have high levels of body fat. Even though most people associate high levels of body fat with larger-than-average sized people, this is not always the case. Sometimes people who appear small in size are actually carrying around more fat on their bodies than what most doctors consider to be healthy. There are many different ways in which a person can measure his body fat percentage. Teenagers who are concerned with their body fat levels can either see a doctor to have their body fat percentages measured, or they can attempt to measure their body fat levels at home using a tape measure.

A lack of exercise is another common sign of obesity in teenagers. In many cases, teenagers who exercise very little or not at all struggle with obesity. Teenagers who are not obese but also do not exercise may be at risk for becoming obese in the future. Even a small amount of exercise done just a few times each week may help to prevent obesity in teens. Some ways for teenagers to be sure they get in at least some exercise every day might be taking gym classes at school, participating in team sports, or taking 30-minute walks after school every other day.



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