As we continue to live in a world where living fast and easy is the key to success, but fitness and health is not held to the same importance level we will continue to see a decline in the life expectancy and personal success of future generations.
As researchers look at the effect of our lifestyles on upcoming generations a prediction can be made about their future success and life span.
Obesity is an epidemic in adolescents today, according to A. Bruce et. al (2011), approximately 17% of all children and adolescents are obese in the US.
Multiple studies have been performed to research the effect of obesity and fitness on the continually growing and changing brain of children and pre-teens.
As the young adolescents’ brain matures there are many factors that change the ability for the brain to have satisfaction, as well as, ability to complete tasks in relation to diet and obesity.
In the analysis of brains of children and adolescents a focus of the study was around motivation in relation to food.
A. Bruce et. al (2011), note that there is a large relationship of food and eating to self-control and gratification, during neuroimaging the test subjects were examined to their reaction towards food.
The test subjects consisted of adults and children to examine the difference in the brain reaction between the age groups and maturity of the brain.
It was found that obese adolescents and adults had increased neuro activity and satisfaction in relation to high calorie food images vs those who were not obese (Bruce, Martin, & Savage, 2011).
In another study focusing on children and adolescents physiological make up in relation to obesity and normal body conformations.
In this study N. Ross et. al, performed multi-focus exams on each test subject consisting of MRI-evaluation, endocrine study, full medical evaluation, and a 6-minute walk measuring oxygen consumption (2015).
In this study it was found that the obese subjects had insulin sensitivity, this test required the participants to fast for 10-12 hours then having blood drawn to measure insulin and glucose levels.
It was also seen that the obese subjects had smaller orbitofrontal cortices and a decreased visual memory skill.
Each of these findings were interrelated and found to correlate directly with obesity.
As young children and adolescents continue to move through the educational system they are seeing challenges that have occurred in relation to local and federal government focus changes.
During recent years there has been decreased funding to schools causing a change in financial focuses, physical education has been a large subject that has lost funding due to these cuts.
As physical education is cut from the curriculum it is found that students have decreased ability to focus and retain information and also present with lowered test scores.
With the information that is found through research as a nation intervention needs to be implemented to assure the success of future generations.
Obesity is a large epidemic seen in the US today causing failure physiologically and educationally.
Though a fast paced lifestyle is common in communities implementing plans to assure future success is the only way for the country as a whole to grow and produce successful and intelligent adults.
Bruce, A. S., Martin, L. E., & Savage, C. R. (2011, June 1). Neural correlates of pediatric obesity. Preventative Medicine, 52, s29-s35.
Ross, N., Yau, P. L., & Convit, A. (2015, April 2). Obesity, fitness, and brain integrity in adolescence. Appetite, 93, 44-50.
My name is Natasha Vega; I am a senior at the University of Wyoming. I am pursuing a degree in Animal Science with a focus in Pre-Veterinary. I hope to attend Washington State University to obtain my DVM. I am a very active person, I enjoy power lifting and hope to compete in the near future. I believe that fitness and health is the key to physical and psychological success. I hope to one day to provide education and opportunities to my community by pairing physical education and pets to help assure future generations are healthy and successful.