Before I even walked into McDonalds, I saw a herd of people ordering food. The mouthwatering smell of burgers and fries greeted me with a punch to the nose. I really wanted to eat healthy, so I ordered a Caesar salad. Little did I know that the McDonald's Caesar salad has more calories than their hamburgers.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that about 1 in 5 children aged 6 to 19 are obese. More than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity. Almost 3 in 4 men (74 percent) are considered to be overweight or obese. About 8 percent of women are considered to have extreme obesity.
Kids these days are spending more time inside watching TV than going outside and playing at the park. Spending less time outside and more time indoors will increase the incidence of obesity. Excess pounds do more than increase your weight. They also increase the risk of major health problems such as strokes, diabetes, cancer, and depression. You have to exercise or you have a higher chance of becoming obese.
Lenward Gatison, health teacher from Codman Academy, said that obesity occurs when extra calories accumulate in the body, and that teens are more at-risk for obesity than ever. “Teens have junk food easily accessible to them and the culture of teens is getting more and more sedentary,” said Gatison. “Junk food, fast food, TV streaming services, video games are some major contributors to teen obesity. Until teens are living more active lifestyles, teen obesity will continue to be an issue.”
Elliott Garcia, 16, from Dorchester, said that obesity can affect local teens’ abilities to make friends and fit in. “For example, if you are an average teen, you would choose the group that is fit and that has a good life over the obese group that has a bad life,” he said.
For teens, obesity isn’t just a health problem; it’s also a social one. We should more active lifestyles and better access to healthy food. We can’t live off of McDonald's alone.