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Ways to Prevent Obesity in Adolescents

Obesity In Adolescents

  • Because of the media, many young people have a distorted idea of what a healthy appearance should be. Many parents also are in denial about their child’s weight problems. Both of these reasons make it important to understand what is meant by being overweight and being obese.
  • Obesity in adolescents has become a real problem but even if it affects your child now that doesn’t mean he or she can’t be helped to lose the extra weight before entering adulthood.

Adolescence can already be one of the most difficult parts of growing up. With the combination of mental and physical changes, they don’t also need to worry about health issues such as Type II Diabetes or high blood pressure. Yet that’s exactly what is happening because of an alarming increase of obesity in adolescents. Thankfully, there are some ways to reduce your child’s or teenager’s obesity risk.

Defining Obesity

Whenever you worry about weight loss and young people, the issue of body image is of real concern. Because of the media, many young people have a distorted idea of what a healthy appearance should be. Many parents also are in denial about their child’s weight problems. Both of these reasons make it important to understand what is meant by being overweight and being obese.

Today, the main measurement is called the body mass index (BMI). This index takes into calculation your child’s age and height to determine whether or not his or her weight is appropriate. If a teen’s BMI is higher than between 85% and 95% of peers, he or she is classified as overweight. Teenage obesity is defined as an adolescent whose BMI is higher than 95% of other teens.

Reducing the Risk

With teenage obesity on the rise, preventing weight gain in young people is crucial but also difficult. Not only are there more unhealthy foods available more conveniently than ever before but other factors can influence whether or not an adolescent has a high obesity risk. For example, a one year study of 500 teenage girls found that the girls who slept less than six hours a night and who spent the most time on the Internet were at greater risk of weight gain than others.

Obviously, one of the best ways to reduce the risk for your teen is to set a good example at home. Young people learn most of their eating habits from watching their parents. If you serve healthy meals at home and get exercise daily, your teen is more likely to follow your lead.

Dealing with Obesity


Obesity in adolescents has become a real problem but even if it affects your child now that doesn’t mean he or she can’t be helped to lose the extra weight before entering adulthood. First, parents can talk to their children and set some healthy weight loss goals. Discussing the potential risks of being overweight, such as heart disease and diabetes, can drive home the importance of taking action early.

Parents can also begin teaching their children about portion control. Many young people today have no idea how much of anything they should be eating which means they end up eating too much. Helping them learn how much meat, vegetables, and other food groups should be included in each meal is an important lesson that will benefit them now and into the future.

Encouraging more activity is also vital. Doing aerobic exercises at least five to six times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes each time can help boost metabolism and result in weight gain.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.