Teen Obesity Prevention

Obesity-surgeryMany eating disorder programs have noted a marked increase in the number of teens who previously were obese or overweight but who now show early signs of developing eating disorders. In their attempt to lose weight the adolescents may have come to rely on unhealthy and unsustainable methods such as skipping meals or using diet pills or laxatives.

Some who reach normal weights for age and body size also may develop medical and psychologic characteristics similar to teens with classic anorexia nervosa. They may present to the pediatrician with signs of medical instability that can include severe bradycardia or orthostasis.

The new guidelines were developed to address the connection between obesity prevention and eating disorders in teenagers, to provide pediatricians with evidence-informed tools for identifying behaviors that predispose obesity and eating disorders, and to provide guidance about obesity and eating disorder prevention messages.

This is a dangerous category of patient because they’re often missed by physicians

At some point, these patients may have had a real need lose weight, but things got out of control.

The new guidelines incorporate strategies that pediatricians and parents can use to help teenagers avoid both obesity and eating disorders. The guidelines can also apply to all teens, not just those with weight problems.

Three recommendations focus on behaviors to avoid: parents and doctors should discourage dieting, skipping of meals, and the use of diet pills. Instead, they should encourage and support the implementation of healthy eating and physically active behaviors that can be maintained on an ongoing basis.

Two recommendations emphasize behaviors to promote: parents should encourage more frequent family meals, and parents should support a positive body image among teenagers that can motivate them toward developing healthy eating and physical activity habits.

Adolescents who diet in ninth grade were found to be three times more likely than peers to be overweight in 12th grade. Additionally, diets based on calorie-counting may deprive teenagers of the energy required for a normal brain and body growth. Symptoms of anorexia nervosa, which can be a life-threatening condition, could be next.

It’s not unusual for us to see young people who have rapidly lost a lot of weight but are not healthy; they end up in the hospital attached to a heart monitor with unstable vital signs.

Family meals are a protective strategy against weight problems partly because teenagers can see their parents modeling healthy eating.

The new advice is important because although childhood obesity rates have begun to drop, obesity rates in adolescents have not declined. Helping teens maintain healthy weights without veering toward obesity or an eating disorder is more challenging for teens than it is for young children.

Adolescents are also dealing with other issues, such as teasing from peers and body-image concerns. A 3-year-old may not be worried if she’s a bit overweight, whereas an adolescent may try unhealthy weight-loss methods like fasting or diet pills and end up in a vicious circle of more weight gain.


Author: hopeobesitycentre

Today, bariatric surgery is not as uncommon as it was a few years ago. With a number of clinics dedicated to the treatment of obese people, what makes Hope Obesity Centre unique is the post operative care rendered to the patients.

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