Obesity in African American Youth: 5 Factors That Contribute to Weight Gain

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Maintaining a healthy weight is vital for good health and well-being. However, many factors contribute to weight gain and obesity. This article discusses five factors that contribute to obesity in African-American Youth. 

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Genetics 

Obesity has a strong genetics components. According to a report from the National Institute of Health, kids of obese parents are more likely to have obesity compared to children of lean parents. 

Genes contribute to obesity in African American youth in many ways. These include body-fat distribution, the sense of fullness, appetite, food cravings, and metabolism. However, the strength of genetics influence on weight gain varies from person to person. 

On Amazon, you’ll find many books on the genetics influence on obesity. You can get one or two to learn more about it. 

Diet

Lifestyle and diet contribute to the development of weight gain and obesity. Processed or fast food is high in fat and sugar, and too much intake can lead to obesity. Drinking a lot of sugary drinks, including fruit juice and soft drinks, also contributes to obesity in African American youth. 

Additionally, changes in society have made having a healthy diet more difficult. Processed and high-calorie foods have become cheaper, and can easily be found. There are many food advertisements these days that encourage people to buy junk foods. 

People Also Read: National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month: How to Spread Awareness

Physical Activity

Lack of physical activity is another major factor that contributes to obesity in African American youth. Many African American youths are students, so they’re almost busy with their school work all day. 

They also depend on cars for transportation instead of cycling. For fun and relaxation, many tend to play video games, watch movies, surf the internet and hardly exercise

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If you aren’t active enough, you don’t use the energy from the food you eat and your body stores the extra energy you consume as fat. Regular exercise is good for obese African American youths trying to lose weight. 

Health Reasons

Some health issues also lead to weight gain or obesity in African American youth. Examples of such health challenges include hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and Cushing’s syndrome. 

Long-term stress and damage to one’s hypothalamus can lead to weight. Furthermore, eating disorders, such as bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, can also lead to obesity in black youth. You can also get a book or two on Amazon to learn more about the health issues that can lead to obesity and weight gain. 

People Also Read: Lifestyle Farming: 4 Interesting Tips Black Families Need to Know

Medications 

Some medications affect body energy balance and make you hungry or cause your body to burn fewer calories. Below are a few medicines that can contribute to weight gain or obesity in black youths:

  • Lithium
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant)
  • Prednisone
  • Amitriptyline
  • propranolol (Inderal, Hemangeol)

How to Prevent Weight Gain and Obesity in African American Youth

Follow the tips below to prevent your black children from becoming obese:

  • Encourage healthy eating habits in your home: Make available enough fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products. Choose poultry, fish, lean meat, and beans for protein. Also, use non-fat or low-fat milk dairy products like yogurt and cheese. Encourage your children to more water than sugary drinks. 

You can get books on Amazon to learn more about healthy eating

  • Encourage your kids to exercise more often: Regular exercise is great for your kids. It helps reduce the risk of obesity, chronic diseases, and depression. You guys can run on weekends as a family. Also, consider getting home exercise kits if you can afford them. 
  • Ensure they get enough sleep: Children, teens, and youths need more sleep than adults, and the amount will also depend on their age. Little sleep is often associated with obesity in youth. The reason is that inadequate sleep can make them eat more and be less active physically. 

The five factors covered here are the main causes of obesity in African American youth. As a black parent, you can prevent your children from being obese by using the information and the prevention tips in this article. 

People Also Read: 5 Remarkable Scholarships for Black College Students

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Uchenna Agwu
Uchenna Agwu
Hi there! I’m Uchenna Agwu, and I love to write. When I’m not writing, you can usually find me reading books or watching documentaries (I’m a bit of a nerd). But I also like to get out and explore – whether that means going on hikes or checking out new restaurants.

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