Obesity and Eating Disorders in Adolescents

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Obesity and Eating Disorders in Adolescents


Eating disorders include unhealthy eating problems and mostly, obesity is the result of unhealthy dietary. When the problem is on the youths, it spells a lot to the guardians who are supposed to guide them on how best to go about eating whether at the high school levels or primary levels. This paper looks at this problem of obesity, and more so, looks at two major researches that have been carried out regarding the topic and the general outcomes realized. Notably, self-management has been proposed even more than the parents’ guidance and medication. The paper as well offers some analysis of these studies, on the praise and criticism coming out.


The problem of youths growing overweight for poor dietary attracts much debate, especially with concentration on who is to blame for this problem. Quick criticism is leveled against the parents when others try to point at governments for failure to provide good environments for the parents and the children to exercise good dietary. However, nursing professional and other medical practitioner blame it squarely on general lack of health maintenance on all people and cautions the youth on developing the problem at an early age. The cure to this is purely on good diet, which can cost less than seeking the problem when the issue has already blown out of proportion. According to Johnson (December 2004), there is a common knowledge that there is an increased mounting incidence of obesity in the larger population and more so, to the people who are still at their tender ages or have not attained maturity. The following is a discussion of major researches that have done to show on the issue of obesity and weight management amongst the youths.

Sztauberm Duabbe N. (February 2002). Weight-related concerns and behaviors among overweight and non-overweight adolescents. Arch Pediatric Adolescence Med, Vol. 156 (2), pp 171-178

The main objective of this research was to assess the concerns that are related to weight and the behaviors of people as based on a sample of adolescents. As well, it was to compare the concerns and the behaviors based on sex and status of weight among the respondents. The design on carrying out this research included selection of a population of youths amounting to 4746 from St. Paul and Minn public schools, where, they completed the surveys and the anthropometric measurements which was part of the Project known as EAT (Eating Among Teens). The study focused on the eating patterns of the population selected as well as the weight concerns amongst the youths who were selected.

The outcome of the measures were that the weight related concerns included weight disparity, body satisfaction, perceived weight status and the care on controlling weight. On the behaviors of weight issue, the measures were on the specific and general weight control behaviors and binge eating. The results showed that the concerns of weight and the behaviors were very much prevalent amongst the youths and more so, the girls reported 85% while for the boys it was 70%. The girls reported a higher concern for their weight with a score of 57% while the boys scored relatively low at 33%. Virtually the whole of the population selected reported that they were putting up some weight control behaviors, and therefore, the general conclusion is that anyone would like to be thinner as he or she was at the present.

Analysis of the Study

Generally, the outcome to this brings to the fore appreciation or commendation as well as criticism. The research confirms the general knowledge that any overweight person must be doing something to have his or her weight reduce to some down levels, and that girls’ exhibit much of this characteristic than boys. However, this research is void of critical areas, which ought to have been the basis or a contribution. For example, the research should as well have concentrated on asking the respondents on how they found themselves on the present predicaments and generally, this would help in coming up with solutions to their problems. As well, the control measures that the youths were putting up could have involved the parents who are the main guardians to them.

Thunfors, P. (January 2009). Health behavior interests of adolescents with unhealthy diet and exercise: Implications for weight management. Health Education Research, Vol. 24 (4), pp 634-645

The objective of the research study was to determine the individual influence on the outcome of obesity and the eating disorders prevalent in many adolescents. As well, the research sought to understand the interests that the persons have or had on the control of this kind of outcome or on the programs that help promote the healthy lifestyle and reduce obesity. The sample consisted of 737 middle and high school students in the rural Pennsylvania in United States, and mostly, they were the persons who were not being involved in the healthy exercises or dietary behaviors. The participants were given self-report measure forms regarding the general health functioning and the interest they may have on the programs to rectify the problems.

While doing so, the nurses who were involved in the study measured the body mass indices (BMIs) to come up with a concrete answer or which could correlate the response with the actual outlook. The results showed that most of them endorsed the self-efficacy when it comes to healthy eating and the physical activity and this was associated with interest in taking diets that are healthy and outdoor recreations. Notably, the interest in healthy activities was higher on the 7th graders with a mean age of 12.6 years than that the 11th graders with a mean age of 16.3 years. As well, the females were noted to be the ones who were most interested in the exercises than the boys who concentrated their interest in weightlifting. This led to a conclusion that exercises when combined with healthy eating could best help reduce the effects of the problem rather than take only one measure out of the two.


At face value, this is a conclusive research and the outcomes portray the picture of a direction that can be taken by all. Consequently, the research concentrated on the interest; because, just proposing that people eat and do the exercise is not enough as many may not adhere to it. With such a direction, then, it was good to have an outcome that of population that is interested in the management of weight. However, even though in the outcomes as sought out in the self-assessment forms, the use of doctor’s medication was largely ignored and this could be the result of the placement of the phrase. When exercises and healthy eating is placed first, the notion created is that they are the most important, and if the use of doctor’s medication was to be put at the fore, the notion could have been different. On this Cassell (2006) has confirmed that medications have been used even though to small extent in the treatment of obesity related ailments such as bulimia. Even though it cannot largely be described as a shortcoming of the research, the feeling that the researchers tried to evade this concentration is present.


The discussion has concentrated on the ways of managing obesity and eating disorders amongst the youths, and more so, by use of researches that have been done on this area. The outcome is that exercises and self-efficacy is critical to management of this problem and generally, it brings to the fore that the best way to going about management of this problem is when the victims approach it themselves. Even though the discussion is critical of absence of people like the doctors and the parents, or any other person who may help, self-management has been seen as the best.


Cassell, D. (2006). The Encyclopedia of obesity and Eating disorders. New York: InfoBase Publishing.

Johnston, J. (December 2004). Eating disorders and childhood obesity: Who are the real gluttons? Canadian Media Association, Vol. 171 (12), pp 495-502.

Sztauberm, N. (February 2002). Weight-related concerns and behaviors among overweight and non-overweight adolescents. Arch Pediatric Adolescence Med, Vol. 156 (2), pp 171-178.

Thunfors, P. (January 2009). Health behavior interests of adolescents with unhealthy diet and exercise: Implications for weight management. Health Education Research, Vol. 24 (4), pp 634-645.