Known for her spunky personality, love of “EVOO” and time-saving 30-minute meals, Rachael Ray shares cooking and lifestyle tips on her hit talk show, the Rachael Ray Show. But this season, she is addressing a much more serious matter than just quick meals and decorating tips: Teenage obesity.
From the season’s premiere last month, Rachael introduced us to Christina, an 18-year-old teenager who at just 5 feet tall weighs 250 pounds. Determined to take control over her life and reach a place where she can finally love and accept herself, Christina has pledged to lose 70 pounds by prom.
Each Friday, Rachael checks in with the teen to get a status of her weight loss progress for the week and any successes and setbacks she may have endured. From the classroom, to the high school football games and from the doctor’s office to her home life, it’s a raw look into a life filled with heartbreak, courage, and honest emotion that lets you experience a new chapter of this troubled teen’s world every week.
Christina’s Story is just one example of the millions of weight struggles affecting American children and adolescents. These daunting and very real statistics provided by the CDC clearly illustrate the gravity of the obesity epidemic affecting the nation’s youth.
- Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.
- The prevalence of obesity among adolescents age 12 to 19 years has increased from 5.0 percent to 18.1 percent.
- Obese youth are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70 percent of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
- Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.
- Obese youth are more likely than youth of normal weight to become overweight or obese adults, and therefore are more at risk for associated adult health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
Do you feel like you can relate to Christina’s journey as she battles her weight? If Christina’s story is having an impact on you in any way, go to the Rachael Ray website and post encouraging personal messages to Christina. So far, the online support has been tremendous as well-wishers from all over the country offer their support and motivation to this young woman.
And EDUInReview.com will be updating you on Christina’s Story as the season progresses. We hope that we’ll be sharing positive feedback on Christina’s weight loss journey.