Participating in Sports Improves Teen Health

Ashton Nazeri, Staff Writer

It is no surprise that teens today are far more obese than teens in the past. Teens today are more unhealthy and fat then they have ever been. There are many things that can be blamed.

Many teens don’t exercise. Many only eat fattening and unhealthy foods and some teens don’t eat enough.

Skipping breakfast is the leading bad food habit for teenagers. According to the American Dietetic Association, more than half of male teens and more than two-thirds of female teens do not eat breakfast on a regular basis.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast can upstart your metabolism, which helps with weight control, mood and school performance. Another bad food habit teens have is increased foods from ‘other’ food group.

Think of the food pyramid, the ‘other’ food group is the smallest smallest section at the top with what is supposed to be the least amount of servings.

Teens tend to eat too much high fat and calorie snack foods that are categorized in the ‘other’ food group. Increased eating outside of the home is yet another bad food habit teens have.

Teens eat at fast food restaurants much more often then they did when they were kids.

This tends to be because of school, and work schedules taking up their normal meal schedules. Last, but not least, for bad eating habits is soft drink consumption. A study looking at American youths aged 6-17 found an increase in the prevalence of soft drink consumption from 37% in 1978 to 56% in 1998.

You can choose a healthier drink by having fruit juice and water available and not buying soda. Or try fruit flavored carbonated water instead of soda.

Participating in sports improves teens health in many ways. To be a good athlete, teens must take care of yourself.

This gets teens thinking about what to eat and how to treat your body to achieve peak performance levels. Playing sports enables teens to create friendships you otherwise might not have formed.

Sports bring teens together from different schools, backgrounds, and communities. Many times, the friendships teens create on the field remain intact even when they are not playing sports.

When engaging in sports for the first time, a teen may feel hungrier than usual.

This is normal, because a teens body is expending much more energy than it is used to. Here are some nutrition tips to help keep teens healthy while you participate in sports.

About 20 to 25 percent of energy comes from fats, so to keep energy levels high, your body needs you to consume fat.

Make sure to eat before, during and after your sport. The helps maintain blood glucose levels, which in turn will help enhance a teens sports performance.

When playing a sport, teens body loses a lot of fluid, which can cause dehydration.

This is dangerous, potentially fatal, so drink plenty of water. Limiting salts and sugars can also be very helpful.

It’s a common misconception that being both a student and an athlete is hard if not impossible. Participating in sports can actually have a positive impact on school.

Sports force teens to organize their time so that they can both go to practice and finish their homework. The key is finding a balance. If teens can learn to organize their time then they can succeed in both.

With the amount of teen obesity and unhealthy habits in this day and time, it is necessary to start changing and work. Obesity is worse than it has ever been. Never has something like this been such a huge issue.

With hard work and healthy habits this problem can be a thing of the past.