Obesity can strike anyone regardless of age and it has become the most concerned global health issue today. While there are adults and elderly that are overweight and obese, most often, gaining too much weight starts at an early age and will become full blown obesity in their teenage years. Yes, due to some environmental and genetic factors, being “fat” and bigger than usual physically are now part of the society.
But obese teens are much more prone to many life dilemmas than their adult counterparts, simply because obese adults can handle discrimination and criticisms effectively that are being thrown to them through their lifetime, so sometimes they become immune. Aside from health effects, being obese in their teens can bring different challenges, which needs our support to guide them as they grow up and mature. Otherwise, these teens will grow up with low self-esteem and will have inferiority complex.
One case of teen obesity was reported by BBC news where the so called “Britain’s fattest teen” needed 40 men to modify her home just to transfer her to a hospital for medical examination. Imagine the hard work and disadvantages of being that fat. But you as a normal weight individual, can do something to support obese teenagers and give them a glimpse of hope to live life to the fullest. Below are some practical interventions which can help them drive to lose weight and live a normal life.
Ways to support Obese Teenagers
Start an early good nutrition education
If you know that you have a family history of obesity or slow metabolism, it is best to start a nutritional education for your child at an early age. This is to prevent them from gaining too much weight and for them to be aware on different food groups that constitutes to unhealthy weight gain. You may also help other teens in school by promoting healthful diet programs that the school promotes. This will help obese teenagers to be educated and remind them the consequences of being fat.
Remember that all teens need to be educated with regards to good nutrition, and not just obese teens. Schools can provide the right educational programs that will guide them to healthy eating and living. But of course, good health always comes first at home!
Overcome emotional and mental trauma
Teens who are suffering from obesity or are overweight, are much more prone to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and many other emotional shortcomings. These issues needs to be solved as quickly as possible to avoid getting confused and prevent life struggles. Studies have shown that disorders such as binge eating, bulimia, anorexia and many other eating issues all starts in adolescence period.
If an overweight teenager have seen signs or symptoms of these disorders, they should be evaluated or diagnosed immediately by a mental health professional to ensure emotional and mental stability through proper treatments. In schools or at home, one can improve or foster the self-esteem of an obese student by specifically recognizing their strengths and other abilities as their unique accomplishments. This will help overweight students that school teachers or staffs have equal treatment and enforce unbiased teaching.
Respect comes from us and we need to continuously support obese teens by giving opportunities and avoid isolation. We need to listen to their cries and give them emotional advise when needed. As a parent or a teacher, you are committed in these teens over all development including their emotional and mental needs. If we don’t give support, then we are depriving them of a bright future and healthy living.
Enforce a strict workout program
I used the term “enforce” because you definitely need obese teens to do a strict exercise program to stay fit and healthy. Most of obese teenagers if not all, are having difficulties losing weight through exercise, maybe because of their huge and heavy body. So what they do is to practice their own way of “light” exercises that don’t even burn calories. This is how you can help them. You need to at least drive them or motivate them to do a consistent workout program.
I previously wrote an article on the importance of having a personal fitness professional guiding you on your exercise regimen. I suggest that you read that article through the link I provided. A fitness professional can help give proper guidance on obese teens on how to do proper workout for thorough weight loss. Aside from that, they will provide an organized physical activities that are sequential to your abilities, meaning from light to intense workout depending on your progress. So you will definitely lose some pounds with a personal trainer.
If you don’t want to hire a fitness professional, you can urge your teen to do any regular physical activities such as dancing, sports or doing any house chores to keep their body moving and be active. Once they get to lose a pound or two on their workout program, they will start to get motivated and will do more challenges just to lose weight consistently. So your support is very significant on their success.
Final thoughts on how to support obese teenagers
Obesity is at its highest state right now and many individuals are victimized by this silent killer. Yes, obesity doesn’t only make you fat, but it also increases your risks of other health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stroke, cancers, kidney failure, bone injuries and many others. As for teenagers, their dilemma is just starting and we have to help them overcome many of obesity’s negative health effects.
How about you? What can you do to help obese teens recover from being overweight and obesity? Give your thoughts by commenting below. Your opinion is valuable to other readers and will be a great addition to help teenagers in preventing too much weight gain.