Obesity and Physical Fitness
Obesity and Physical Fitness papers clearly illustrate that Americans are obsessed with weight. Each year millions of individuals spend billions of dollars on diet and fitness aides in the hope that they will find a panacea in their fight to battle the bulge. Although Americans are more health conscious today than ever before, more Americans are now overweight than ever before. In an attempt to understand why Americans continue to gain weight, social scientists, medical professionals and public health officials have begun to explore the possible root causes of obesity in American society. While many believe a sedentary lifestyle coupled with a high fat diet is to blame, others are beginning to consider what role childhood obesity plays in the onset of adult obesity. Current research suggests that the interplay between childhood obesity and lack of physical fitness may be a contributing factor to the development of obesity in adulthood. Further recent research shows that childhood and adolescent obesity often lead to serious medical complications in adulthood even if obesity does not persist into adulthood.
As physical fitness and activity seem to play a substantial role in the onset of obesity it only stand to reason that weight loss programs that include physical fitness and activity, will have a positive outcome on the reduction of obesity in adolescents. Although this assumption is supported by Sothern, Loftin, Udall, et al., (1999) who report that “a moderate intensity, progressive resistance training program in a multidisciplinary weight management program for obese preadolescent children” significantly reduced BMI and percent fat after 10 weeks, it is negated by Cameron (1999) who reports that in a study of 54 obese children (aged 10-15 years) enrolled in a weight management program non reported any changes in BMI or percent body fat after an intensive 12 week program.