Chubby kids always tend to look adorable. But what separates chubby kids from those who are obese? Obesity has been a growing concern for parents and doctors alike all across the globe as it is one of the most prominent medical concerns amongst teenagers today. Obesity amongst teenagers can lead to a host of medical problems apart from the emotional and social problems that teenagers are subject to because of their weight. Apart from this health related concerns in adults such as strokes and heart attacks also have been traced to obesity during childhood, as obese kids most times remain obese in their adult years.
What is obesity in teenagers?
Obesity is a condition where the body weight of the teenager is at least 20% higher than the accepted healthy weight according to the height of the teenager. A body fat percentage of anything higher than 35% in boys and 32% in girls also defines obesity in teenagers.
How to prevent obesity in teenagers?
Diet: Make sure that your teenager is introduced to low fat and healthy snacks. Avoid anything that comes out of the box and keep a check on the nutritional value of the food that your teenager is eating. Sugary drinks, processed food, high fat fast food should all be avoided. Try to exercise moderation and total control if your teenager is insistent on having some of these avoidable foods. Vegetables, greens, lean meat, fruits and ample amount of water should form good a part of your teenager’s diet plan.
Physical habits: You shall have to limit the amount of computer, video games or television time for your teenager. Too much of either of these makes your teenager lazy and puts them on the fast track to obesity. Spending hours in front of the computer or television also prompts snacking that leads to weight gain. Encourage your teenagers to go out and play so that they become physically active. Introduce them to some physically active sport such as soccer, tennis, swimming etc so that they develop a love for the outdoors.
Don’t tempt your teenagers: Don’t stock the larder with goodies such as sweets, chocolates, candies etc that can tempt your teenager. Even if you try to regulate the consumption of these sweet treats, your teenager will get tempted to get their hands on these goodies.
Lead by example: Don’t expect your teenager to be physically active and have good eating habits if you spend your time lying on the couch, watching television munching on chips! Your teenager will follow anything that you do and hence it is important to set an example for your teenagers so that he/she can follow your healthy pattern and grow up to become healthy and fit individuals.
Almost all food companies primarily target teenagers in their advertisement campaigns. It is up to you, as a responsible parent to make sure that your teenager does not fall prey to such advertisements. Help your teenager by advising and guiding them on the benefits of healthy eating and prevent obesity. In the book “Solving Teenage Problems”, several more tips and causes of teenage obesity have been provided. Along with this the book also touches upon various eating disorders, which can lead to teenage obesity; their causes and tips to solve them.
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