Obesity in teens has risen over the past twenty years and something needs to be done about it to help them. This article presents some healthy ways for them to either help themselves or find the help that they need.
It is possible for obese teens to lose the extra weight. It is vital because obesity in teens, if not taken seriously can mean life long obesity and the health problems that come with it. Teen obesity should be looked at as not only a diet issue, but a lifestyle issue and possibly a psychological issue as well. This is because obesity among teens is not only caused by eating too much or not getting enough exercise, but can also be caused by severe depression and a lack of a desire to go on.
Finding Help Soon
Finding the cause of the obesity problem, as with any other physical disease is the first order of business in helping anyone lose weight. Ridiculing or other emotional abuse does nothing but intensify the problem. Seeing a doctor should be the first and most important aspect of the process. This is done to look for glandular or other physical problems that might be the cause and hinder any attempts to lose the weight. After this parents need to take a serious look at their own lifestyle and eating patterns.
Are they themselves overweight? Does dad take the family out to eat at fast food restaurants a lot? What is the exercise plan for the family in general? Is this a problem with just the teenager or is it a problem with the whole family? It is also a very good time to stop and assess any other dysfunctions among the family. Stop and take a look at why the child might be overeating. Is he or she stuffing themselves with anger and fear, emotions that he or she is not allowed to express verbally and get taken care of? The sad part about this is, if it is true then it will be hard for the parents themselves to see or desire to take care of.
When the above possible causes are taken care of as much as possible then it is time to take a look at the teen’s lifestyle. Are they getting enough exercise or are they sitting around watching TV or playing video games or even doing good things like reading or studying? What is their level of activity? The next obvious step is to find out what and how much the child is eating. This includes what mom is cooking at home, what the school is preparing for lunch, and any other extra food the child is eating.
Then, with this knowledge it is time to act. Deal with any physical, emotional, family or any other problems that the child may not have any control over. Then, and only then is it time for parents to lovingly do what is important for the teenager even though he or she may not like it at all. This means taking away TV and video time until after a reasonable amount of weight is lost and kept off for a period of time. Get the child outdoors, walking, gardening or doing other physical activity, anything that gets the child sweating heavily.
Next, take a long look at the child’s eating habits and be willing to change with them for a period of time if necessary. It is absolutely depressing to watch other family members eat some of the most unhealthy foods in some of the most absurd amounts (even though they don’t gain weight because their metabolism is much higher) while being forced to eat one helping of a meal, with no dessert.
It is not my intention to mean that these activities be done without the child’s input, rather it is best if these investigations into a child’s lifestyle put in front of them and the changes be done not only with the teen’s consent, but also with their valued input. This is especially true with the type of exercise decided upon. Losing weight does not need to be a torture for the child. This needs to be a lifestyle change that should continue on into adulthood to prevent any regaining of the weight. Therefore it is necessary that the child realize both the dangers of being overweight and the benefits of losing the weight in as fun a manner as possible.