Snacking

Snacking is fast becoming the main eating style among children in America. According to Jans and colleagues, there was a significant increase in snacking among children between the years 1977 to 1996. They found that the number of snacking occasions increased, thus increasing the total energy consumption for these children. They also reported that the proportion of energy consumption from fat increased.

Worldwide, adolescents consume more fat than they need to. Globalization and free trade have brought fast-food eating establishments to most countries, especially to developing nations. McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Burger King, and places like these are commonly found in Europe, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Vegetable oils and fats are cheap and easily available, and more food products high in fats are accessible even to those of low-income persons in developing countries. Consequently, even poorer nations are no longer immune to the ills of Westernization, including obesity.

The shrinking world brought about by satellite television and the Internet has created a popular culture among teens around the world—a culture inundated by junk snacks, sodas, pizzas, and convenience foods. Eating a meal at the table is no longer a tradition, as nuclear families are more rare. Teens are used to "grab and run" eating styles, as are many adults. Food manufacturers and franchisers take advantage of this profit-making opportunity to produce more convenience foods, snacks, and beverages that are high in fats and calories. Teens prefer popular, tasty, and easy-to-find junk foods. The average American consumes more than forty-two gallons of soda a year. Many teens are included in this group.

sedentary: not active overweight: weight above the accepted norm based on height, sex, and age

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