Weight loss statistics in recent years have made for some grim reading. Studies by Wellness International Ltd for the USA alone show that in 1982, 4% of children were overweight. In 1994 the figure was 16%, and in 2001 up to 33%. You don’t have to be Einstein to see where the trend is going.
The latter figures are more than eight times those of just 19 years earlier. Whether the cause is the modern day lifestyle or the apparent deterioration of standards in teens these days is for the most part, irrelevant. Teen obesity is escalating, and it is here, now!
Weight loss diets for teens are appreciably different to those for adults, are difficult to manage, and if uncontrolled can be harmful. As a result of this potential risk, even health professionals approach the matter very carefully.
The fundamental trouble with any teen weight loss diet is that their bodies are still growing and reducing their food intake will significantly influence their physical development. For that reason it is vitally important that any weight loss diet for teens should incorporate all their nutritional requirements.
Teens need to understand the basic principals of healthy eating. Too little can a danger to their health and too much will lead to weight gain. A balance has to be found between the two, and a good place to start is to avoid those ingredients which are high in saturated fats.
Some examples of these are any foods fried in fat or oil like fried breakfasts, french fries, chicken nuggets and suchlike. They should also steer clear of foods that are high in fat and sugar content like cake, chocolate, butter, cream, pies, biscuits, and confectionary.
Good weight loss programs will always concentrate on the two most important precepts, i.e. the right diet combined with regular exercise. This is by far the easiest and healthiest way for a teen to lose weight. Do not even consider taking diet pills unless prescribed by a doctor. They can be very dangerous if used improperly.
In truth, there is no ‘magic’ way to lose weight. The problem with the diet and exercise route is staying motivated and focused on the weight loss objective. Teens find dieting forbidding and exercise tedious.
From a parental point of view this is why the support of everyone in the family is crucial when one of your children needs to lose weight. You need to help them equally with their motivation and in overcoming their cravings by preparing and sharing the same food that they eat. Encourage them to be more active. If they find regular exercise dull, suggest alternatives like sports, or something the whole family can enjoy such as activity days out.
You are in control of their diet while they’re at home, but when they go out and eat with friends, then you could have a problem. Teach them the benefits of certain foods and the dangers of others. Make sure they know how to read food labels. This will not only ensure they are able to look after themselves when you are not there but will instil a sense of self discipline and pride in what they do as well.
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