Obesity is a chronic disease and is likely to carry forward to adulthood and the rest of life. Consequences like diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, chances of developing musculoskeletal problems are likely to occur at a younger age in adolescents. Many reasons contribute to obesity in adolescents, causing many severe and life-long issues. But these tips to prevent obesity in adolescents will help tackle it.
Obesity in this age group is a complex issue. Lifestyle modifications for adolescents with obesity (and bariatric surgery for severer obesity) could help many adolescents. But strict adherence to the treatment and identifying treatment barrier is very important.
So, let’s focus on certain tips mentioned below that will help to combat obesity in adolescents.
Tips To Prevent Obesity In Adolescents
All these small factors mentioned above lead to serious lifelong consequences. But here are a few tips to combat this problem. Once you gain weight, it is difficult to lose, and hence, one needs to follow the steps to prevent obesity.
- Prevention must start at preconception time, which continues during pregnancy, infancy, and childhood.
- A family with an overweight/obese child should seek medical help from qualified health professionals (doctors and dietitians) for the right advice. They will help set and achieve your child’s healthy weight goals as per his/her height.
- Instead of setting apart the child due to his/her weight, increasing the family’s physical activity and changing unhealthy eating habits will support and motivate an obese adolescent child to adopt a healthy lifestyle and eating habits.
- Family activities like walking, swimming, trekking, cycling, etc., can involve everyone in the family.
- Change eating habits of adolescents by advising them to eat slowly and mindfully. Ask them to control portions and consume fewer calories in their diet.
- Families can make efforts to reduce the time spend on sedentary activities like watching TV, etc.
- The entire family can cook healthy meals together often and shop together for healthy food choices.
- A qualified dietitian can guide for ways of healthy eating by making the right food choices for them.
- Increasing awareness about reading food labels and food claims will be more helpful.
- Parents can help improve their children’s self-esteem by always encouraging them, feeding them positivity, bashing their strengths so that they will not be intimidated by the weight problem.
- Proper sleep is the key to maintain good health and proper weight. It is observed that irregular sleep is one of the causes that lead to obesity problems. Make sure your child is getting proper rest.
It is of grave concern as adolescence represents a critical brain development period. It builds a strong foundation by the prefrontal cortex’s ongoing maturation (a brain region) involved in regulating behavior and cognition.
The excessive consumption of calorie-dense food can weaken self-regulatory processes through effects on brain function and behavioral control. Limited daily exercise fails to burn unwanted calories from the body, which results in excess fat accumulation. These changes could introduce long-lasting maladaptive eating behaviors that underlie adult obesity and related metabolic syndromes.
Obesity can bring many unexpected problems to the bearer, such as stress, depression. Additionally, there is a dynamic interrelation between obesity and psychosocial health too. Obesity in adolescents has increased stress, depressive symptoms, and reduced resilience, leading to binge eating disorder in teens. And if obesity is not treated at the right time, it may result in chronic obesity, leading to increasing adolescents’ problems. Implementing the tips mentioned above lend a helping hand to deal with this crisis.
Thus, it is firmly believed that “Where there is a will, there is a way” and “Prevention is always better than cure.” Live along with these sayings and move towards a healthy lifestyle.