Teenagers And Obesity In America

We are in the midst of a serious problem with teenagers and obesity in America and globally. Over the past 20 plus years teenage obesity has escalated and it is time that we as parents and society do something to help them.

The effects of teenage obesity can mean more than dealing with a lifetime of health related problems because it is also a psychological problem that has been brought on by the obesity issue.

The first order of business would be to take them to the family doctor to look for glandular and physical problems that may exist. Typically the doctor will ask the parents about their own lifestyles and eating habits.

Obesity is a family affair and this may require taking a look in the mirror and reassessing the whole family. The best way to help your teen will be with family participation.

In other words, it isn't fair to your obese teen if you are eating chips and drinking soda when that is forbidden foods. Things to look for when you are re-evaluating the family lifestyles.

  • Does the family get exercise on a regular (daily) basis?
  • How often do you go to fast food restaurants?
  • Are there other weight issues in the family?
  • Are there other family stresses?
  • Do you eat meals as a family and where do you eat your meals?
  • How much television do you watch daily?

After you have evaluated the entire family it's time to go into action. The action plan should start with trying to find fun ways for them to get more exercise.

Go for a walk, take them to the park for a game of catch or Frisbee, whatever works and is fun. You can even entice them with a reward of weekly bowling if they follow your rules.

The next step is to assess and change their eating habits. Provide healthier choices when you shop and keep plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator. Since teenagers are away from the home often it is difficult to control what they eat away from home.

Lovingly remind them how concerned you are about their weight and praise them often on their accomplishments.

There is a solution and these are the most important steps to make at achieving their goal. When the discussion of food and their obese condition comes in to play be cautious about what you say and how you say it.

Many times harping on the food issue will have a reverse effect because this is a sensitive issue with them.

Keep an open dialog with your teen on the action plan and be open for suggestions. The more input that they offer the better. If your teen is having fun, losing weight, and learning to make lifestyle changes they will carry these into adulthood.



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