When encountering teen obesity, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes that parents and doctors should team up and focus on a healthier lifestyle for the teenagers rather than weight or dieting.
Teen obesity in the United States has grown considerably in recent years. Approximately 17 percent or 12.7 million children and adolescents are obese.
The causes for teen obesity are complex and include genetic, biological, behavioral and cultural factors.
In order avoid eating disorder and prevent teen obesity, parents should guide children in obtaining a healthy balanced lifestyle. Teen obesity is associated with serious emotional problems such as lower self-esteem, depression or anxiety.
When dieting, the substantial weight loss method can determine important medical consequences such as unstable heart rate or low blood pressure. Also, studies show that teenagers who diet in the ninth grade are more likely than their peers to be overweight in the 12th grade.
Overweight teens who develop eating disorders can be easy to miss because they’re not usually excessively thin. The eating disorders could be the result of severely limiting calories or using other unhealthy weight-loss tactics.
Teen obesity occurs when children eat more calories than the body burns. If a parent is obese, there are 50 percent chances that the child also develops the condition. However, when both parents are obese, their children have an 80 percent chance of being obese.
The diets that involve counting calories are very strict and can evolve into anorexia nervosa, which may even become life-threatening. Moreover, these diets deprive teenagers of the energy they need to develop properly.
Dr. Neville Golden, the lead author of the new recommendations said that having kids on a diet doesn’t work and could make their condition worse.
The method that works is ensuring that the teenagers have unlimited access to healthy foods and that the kitchen is filled with fruit and vegetable instead of chips and sweets. Moreover, having family meals as often as possible and encouraging children to have a positive body image also pay off.
Inducing a positive body image could mean not having family members teasing the teenagers for their body weight or promoting a positive image of yourself in order to induce it to the teen.