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July 21, 2024 Follow TrueSchools on Twitter
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Preventing Childhood Obesity

By True Schools Staff

Young Obesity in Today's Day and Age

Obesity has become more and more of a problem for both children and teenagers within the last few years. In fact, around 16% of children and 33% of teenagers are obese right now, and society pays billions because of it. As easy as it is to recognize this medical condition, though, it can be hard to treat and can thus result in hundreds of thousands of deaths every year. Also, people who are overweight during their childhood usually end up staying overweight all their lives unless they change their diet and exercise patterns and maintain them.

The 411 on Obesity

Having a couple of extra pounds does not necessarily mean a person is obese. However, it might result in easy weight gain and, consequently, a need for diet and exercise changes. In general, children aren't deemed to be obese unless they weigh at least 10% more than they should for their body type and height. Most of the time, obesity starts in children of 5 or 6 years old, or during adolescence. Research also shows that children who are obese when they are 10 or 13 years old usually have a higher risk of being obese for life.

The Causes of Obesity

Obesity causes are quite complex and include behavioral, biological, cultural and genetic factors. In a nutshell, obesity happens when people eat more calories compared to what they burn. People who are obese usually end up having obese children, as well. If both of the parents are overweight, their children have even higher chances of becoming obese. Even though some medical conditions may cause obesity, it is very rare for obesity to be caused by a physical problem. Instead, young obesity is usually linked to:

The Complications and Risks of Obesity?

Obesity comes with a lot of complications and risks that could lead to the following physical consequences:

Young obesity is linked to emotional problems, as well. Teenagers who struggle with their weight usually have low self-confidence and aren't very popular among their peers, which could, in turn, result in obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, and anxiety.

The Treatment and Management of Obesity

Children who are obese will require a proper doctor's evaluation to find out whether it is caused by something physical. If it isn't, then they will have to reduce their calorie intake and participate in more physical activities. Because obesity usually affects several family members at once, making regular exercise and healthy eating a family thing can result in better chances of weight control overall. In the end, though, weight loss will only last if self-motivation is present.

To manage young obesity, do the following:

Obesity can last a lifetime because obese teenagers tend to gain weight after they reach their goals by eating the same way they did before. Because of this, obese teenagers need to learn how to enjoy healthier foods, eat in moderation, and exercise regularly in order to maintain their ideal weight. To help, parents can emphasize on their children's positive traits and strengths instead of on their problems with weight.

When obese children or teenagers have emotional problems at the same time, a psychiatrist should help come up with a treatment plan that is more comprehensive treatment plan. This plan should include realistic goals for weight loss, proper diet and exercise management, family involvement, and behavioral changes.

Is Your Child Getting Overweight? It's Not Too Late to Prevent That
Photo by: Mike Smail
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