is no laughing matter

So what if I'm obese!

Obesity is a growing epidemic among children and adolescents. More than 61 percent of Texas is overweight or obese (CRC Health Group, n.d.). The number of overweight and obese Texas school aged children has doubled over the past 20 years resulting in 35 percent of Texas children being obese (CRC Health Group, n.d.). Obesity can lead to many health problems now and later in life. Consequences of obesity include diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, or cardiovascular disease (a bad heart) (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2008). Taking care of your body now can help you live a long healthy life.

How to make a change

Calculate Your Body Mass Index

“Body mass index is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height” (CDC, 2014, para. 1). To calculate your BMI, obtain an accurate height and weight. Next, plug the information into the following formula:

weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703

Based off your calculation you can classify yourself as underweight, normal, overweight, or obese.

Below 18.5






30.0 and Above


If your BMI is greater than 24.9, lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise should be put in place to help you live a long healthy life.

Healthy Food Choices...It All Begins Here

In today's society we are often tempted with grabbing a "quick fix" for a snack. These "quick fixes" often times are unhealthy. Adolescents often reach for potato chips or soda pop for a snack which serves a poor fuel for the body and often leads to obesity. Junk food is often high in unhealthy fats, sugar, and salt. To start making changes...START SMALL!
  • Cut back on sugary drinks like soda pop or energy drinks and substitute with water (CDC, 2014).
  • Eat breakfast every morning.
  • Keep a fresh bowel of fruit cut up to snack on.
  • Replace junk food snacks with fruits and vegetables.
  • Stay away from fast food.
  • Reduce your meal size.

Eating a well balanced diet is essential to staying healthy and preventing disease.

Dietary Guidelines 2010 emphasizes eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low fat dairy products (CDC, 2013). A moderation of lean meats, poultry, eggs, fish, beans, and nuts should be included in the diet (CDC, 2013). A balanced diet should be kept low in saturated fats, trans fat, cholesterol, sugar, and salt (CDC, 2013).

"A calories is defined a unit of of energy supplied by food" (CDC, 2014, para. 2). To maintain your current body weight your calories in must equal your calories burned with physical activity. For most people this is roughly 2000 calories per day. To lose weight to must eat fewer calories than you use (CDC, 2014).

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Physical Activity

There are many benefits of physical activity including
  • weight reduction
  • reduced risk of heart disease
  • reduced risk of diabetes
  • reduced risk of cancer
  • stronger muscle and bones
  • improved mental health and mood (CDC, 2011).

Start slow with your exercise if you have not exercised recently. "Work your way up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent mix of the two each week." (CDC, 2011, para. 6). Moderate intensity means a brisk walk (a 15 minute mile), light yard work (raking leaves), or biking at a casual pace (CDC, 2011). Vigorous intensity means jogging or running, swimming laps, jumping rope, football, basketball, or skating (CDC, 2011). Bring a friend to make it more fun and remember to START SMALL!

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American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (2008). Facts for families. Obesity in children and teens. Retrieved from http:/www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/obesity_in_children_and_teens

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Physical activity and health. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/health/index.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). Healthy eating for a healthy weight. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.(2014). Adolescent and school health. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/nutrition/facts.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Healthy weight- it’s not diet, it’s a lifestyle! Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/Index.html

CRC Health Group. (n.d.). Obesity in Texas children and teens. Retrieved from http://www.byparents-forparents.com/obesity-texas-children-teens.html