If you’re a teenager and trying to lose weight, where do you go for advice?
These findings come from a study out of Philadelphia, where 14% of high-school students are overweight. This analysis from the Philadelphia Youth Risk Behavioral Survey, looked at about 44,000 high-schoolers to determine what kind of efforts are being made to help with weight loss and what kind of behaviors are lingering that prevent them reaching their goals.
Such behaviors as smoking, regular exercise, video game playing and the consumption of junk food were all taken into account.
Sadly, the obese weight group of female teenagers were also more likely to be smokers and even though most of these females were committed to 60 minutes of aerobic activity a day, their subsequent consumption of soda pop was standing in their way of success.
You need to exercise for 30 minutes of cardio to burn one soda pop.
Their male counterparts were less likely to exercise on a daily basis, giving up aerobic activity for video games – an average of three hours a day is spent on playing video games.
“From a health education standpoint, finding out that three-quarters of students who are obese want to lose weight is exactly what we want,” said lead researcher Clare Lenhart. “But the behavior they’re engaging in is puzzling; it’s counterproductive to what they’re trying to do.”
The researchers believe there is a lack of education amongst these teens and there needs to be a better system for raising awareness to help break bad habits causing weight gain.
“For example, among the girls who are exercising, they may not realize that one soda could undo that 30-minute walk they just took.”
Health-care providers can also do a better job at evaluating teen health with more accurate follow-up questions about their activity levels and nutritional habits.
“If a child is going to their pediatrician, and he asks them if they’re losing weight, an appropriate follow-up question might be, ‘How are you doing that?'” said Lenhart. “It could help guide those teens to more productive weight loss activities.”
Temple University. “Overweight teens want to lose weight, going about it the wrong way.”ScienceDaily, 1 Nov. 2011. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.