Is Your Teen Overweight? Watch for These Health Risks |

It isn’t just exhaustion that teens struggle with when they’re overweight, it’s REAL MEDICAL issues. Today’s teens have more pressure on them to fit in – academically, emotionally, and physically; an overweight teen even more pressure to conform. Whether it’s right or wrong (and we know it’s wrong), the teen still faces this pressure every day. But beyond the peer pressure is the health issue. Safeguard your teen by educating yourself on the health risks they face. When you look examine this list, think of your child.High Blood Pressure or Hypertension: Teens are experiencing hypertension at an alarming rate; this is due to a more sedentary lifestyle (video games, TV, etc.). One study showed that hypertension in teens increased from 1% to 5% from 1989 to 2002 – imagine what that study would show now! A teen that chooses non-active hobbies increases their risk for high blood pressure and weight gain.Diabetes or Insulin Resistance: A decade ago, 1 in 10 adolescents were at risk for diabetes; the current ratio is 1 in 4. This study includes both Type 2 Diabetes and those who are pre-diabetic. It’s important to understand that many people with prediabetes DO develop Type 2 Diabetes later in life. This can be avoided with weight loss and an increase in body movement (not hardcore exercise).What actually causes diabetes? Diabetes is categorized into two types: Type 1 Diabetes develops when the body loses its ability make insulin, a hormone that regulates blood glucose.Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes, according to the CDC. Type II doesn’t happen overnight, it develops over time, beginning with insulin resistance related to weight and inactivity. Eventually, the body can completely lose its ability to produce insulin at all.Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea is a condition in which the sleeper breathes shallowly or has brief pauses in breathing caused by a blockage (referred to as an obstruction) in the airway. The closure in the airway reduces blood oxygen to the brain, which signals the body to gasp to open the airway. This breathing pattern can last from seconds to minutes. Severe cases experience pauses for as many as 100 times in an hour. It may be no surprise that the sleeper does NOT get a decent sleep and will be tired the next day. But, more significant to weight, is that poor sleep contributes to weight gain and the weight gain contributes to apnea. Everybody needs to get high-quality sleep for his or her body to function at its best.Asthma: Asthma is closely linked to weight-gain, but being overweight is also a result of allergies – so the two go hand in hand. A teen with asthma finds it hard to exercise, playing sports, and sometimes even walking to the bus stop.Depression: This should come as no surprise. Adolescents as a group are just figuring out their place in society and are very susceptible to judgmental attitudes. Overweight teens have lower self-esteem and less confidence than their healthy-weight counterparts because they experience negative attention at a vulnerable season of their life.Is your child overweight and, therefore, at risk for any of these conditions? This article is not meant to scare you, but it is meant to educate you so that you the information to help your children get and stay healthy. Sparing your child’s feelings may leave your child exposed to any of these serious health risks. Find a weight-loss program that provides a Health Coach who specializes in teen weight loss. Make it a Happy New Year – don’t wait!