Obesity Solution: Teen Obesity Management and Treatment
Obesity in both children, teenagers and adults occurs worldwide. One of the countries that are seriously dealing with this matter is Malaysia. Based on the records of the Ministry of Health (MOH), 36.2% of Malaysians aged 18-69 are overweight, while 13% of children and adolescent teens in schools also suffer weight problems. According to studies, males and females have their required daily calorie count. Males are required to consume not more than 2,200 calories, while women should not exceed 1,800 calories. However, six out of 10 Malaysians of both genders accumulate more than their defined calorie count.
Initiatives were developed such as the “Healthy Meals in Schools” program for overweight children, wherein canteen vendors are recommended to prepare healthier food for them. The aim of these programs is to start a conscious eating habit at a young age, which they can carry through as adolescent teens and adults.
The Chairman of Exercise is Medicine, Dr. Benedict Tan proposed a program that could help a lot to improve the health conditions of children. The aim is to prevent the possibility of developing diseases and gaining unnecessary weight that might be unhealthy for young ages.
Dr. Tan also proposes to make a habit of having good exercise and controlled eating habits not only for children but for all ages. He specified that children in school should take at least one co-curricular activity related to sports.
A clinical and sports dietician, Ms. Jaclyn Reutens shared how clients have become aware of their health. Many started to become health-conscious and decided to make healthier choices with their food, this is based on those participating in step-trackers.
Teen obesity is categorized as gaining excess fat that can affect the body and health of those aged under 18 years old.
To measure whether a person is excessively fat is quite difficult. The reason is all people differ in body weight and height from all over the world. That is why many countries developed a “Country-specific” and “Age-and-sex-specific” Body Mass Index (BMI) reference chart for each of their population.
Being obese is one of the world’s health problems that is faced by families who sometimes are not aware that what they are currently experiencing is an overweight problem or obesity.
Causes of Teen obesity
Lifestyle and family history are the major reasons behind teen obesity. Most of these teenagers may have often had family members diagnosed with the same condition and are not physically active. It is also said that teens, including overweight children, might have developed this condition because of psychological factors, including eating disturbances or depression.
Parents who have not practiced a healthy diet might have also affected the same manner to their children. Poor diet habits like taking up too much fat and sugar, and having little nutritional food can boost the chances of being overweight. These facts are important for parents to teach their children starting from a very young age to avoid excessive intake of food that contains unhealthy properties.
Not practicing proper exercise or doing physical activities is also a factor for teen obesity. Learning how to become physically active can contribute a lot to prevent weight gain. Doing minimal physical exercises every day is helpful to burn a lot of calories and can help maintain a healthy weight that will match a person’s body type. These activities can be as simple as going to the playground for children not only to have fun but also to be able to make movements that can exercise their body.
Not being able to put attention to their children’s lifestyle habits can also be causing them to gain weight. Many teenagers, especially in this modern generation, are more active in watching television and social media outlets, which can influence them in living a sedentary lifestyle. It is important for parents to not tolerate this type of behavior for their children.
Medical conditions related to teen obesity
Being obese is very unhealthy for any age, especially teenagers. It may also be unhealthy not only for the body but also for the mind. Young people who struggle with their weight also lack confidence, as they often get teased by other kids. More importantly, obesity doesn’t only make you easily tired or move uncomfortably, it also means that the body is not working at its best because the weight is putting so much stress on the joints. Because it is hard for someone who is overweight to do physical activities, it can lead to a lot of possible health problems. Some of the weight-related problems include:
The effects of Diabetes on these teenagers who are under the condition of being overweight and obese are tiredness, itching around the genitals, and possible impairment of kidneys because of organ failures. It is also a fact that if wounded, teenagers with diabetes can’t heal as fast as non-diabetic people. Moreover, the insulin resistance due to diabetes makes it hard to sustain steady blood sugar levels.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure is a common condition an overweight patient will have. Symptoms of a person who has high blood pressure are shortness of breath, fatigue, and most of the time, has increased thirst and frequent urination.
Gallstones for teens that are overweight or obese are common to girls than boys. It is because girls or women are more likely to have hardened cholesterol or gallstones caused by ovarian hormones. This is also a fact even for non-obese patients. Gallstones do not have obvious symptoms. But patients with gallstones will eventually experience severe pain when it occurs. Having a sudden pain in the upper right abdomen, fever, shivering, nausea, vomiting, yellowing of the skin or eye (Jaundice), and dark urine can be a few symptoms that indicate the formation of gallstones.
Joint and muscle pain
Joint and muscle pain is a common struggle for overweight patients, especially teenagers and children. Because of the excess weight, doing heavy physical activities like running puts pressure on the joints. The friction between the joints leads to overweight or obese people having to suffer from severe joint and muscle pain. This makes it hard for teenagers to have a more active lifestyle and participate in activities like sports.
Obesity is one of the major causes of Pseudotumor Cerebri. Teenagers with abdominal fat are said to be at higher risk. To identify a person with Pseudotumor Cerebri are having symptoms like whooshing sound in the head with pulses, vision loss, and brief episodes of blindness.
Having a lot of excess weight in the chest and abdomen causes breathing difficulties. Teens that are obese are more likely to have asthma. As a result, they will have shortness of breath and not be able to do physical activities.
How to manage teen obesity
Doctors often start treatment for teen obesity by calculating the BMI.
The BMI or Body Mass Index is used to identify if a teenager is overweight or obese. It is calculated by kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. It is an age-and-sex-specific percentile. With the help of an age growth chart, doctors will be able to identify if the teen’s weight will fit his/her age and height. This is also done for adults who are experiencing obesity.
A child percentile is a comparison between one child to another child of the same sex and age. There are cut-off points indicated in these charts that can compare one child to another. BMI between 85th and 94th percentiles are recorded as overweight, 95th percentile and above is obese, and 99th percentile and higher is severe obesity.
Doctors may consider asking for family history.
There might be some of the family members who are also obese or is a patient with diabetes. This could either be parents or grandparents who have passed on the condition from generation to generation.
Doctors will also ask about eating habits.
Eating habits can be caused by a lot of factors. It can come from psychological histories like depression, having the feeling of being alone, or being a victim of bullying.
Teaching teenagers to eat properly is also a significant part of treating obesity.
Eating fruits and vegetables is the topmost important food teens have to get used to. Cutting off unhealthy food during grocery shopping and replacing less sugar and fatty food items will become a great start. Also, their consumption of sweetened beverages like soft drinks and juices doesn’t really provide proper nutrition.
One of the biggest influences everyone had since childhood as good food is fast food. They’re delicious and savory, but, because these are processed foods, they can contain a high amount of fat and calories.
Eating home-cooked meals is better than processed food and fast food. Aside from the controlled amount of sugar and fat, eating with the family while exchanging conversations and avoiding distractions, such as watching the TV, lessens the speed of the child while eating. This cultivates mindful eating and prevents the teen from eating mindlessly, which could also have played a significant role in their obesity.
DeFATO Hub: A Solution for Managing Teen Obesity
Teen obesity can lead to more severe health problems as they grow older. Parents should do their best to guide and maintain their children’s health. There are several weight loss solutions available out there suitable for managing teenager’s weight. With that said, not all parents have the knowledge to create an effective and safe health plan for their child. They may also not have the time and energy to guide them throughout the process. Luckily, there are programs like DeFATO Hub that can help you.
DeFATO Hub is a program dedicated to a HOLISTIC APPROACH to weight loss. It recognizes that not all cases of teen obesity are the same and every teenager has their specific health needs. The program tailor fits aspects of losing weight, from diet to exercise, depending on the weight loss goals of the person. Moreover, you and your child do not have to do it by yourself. DeFATO Hub gives you all the right tools and works with the right people to help you improve not only your weight but also to sustain an overall healthier lifestyle.
The program links you to a team of healthcare professionals that can help assess your teenager’s weight problem and, in turn, know the approach on how to lose weight. A certified nutritionist will help them create a sustainable diet, where they will get the nutrients they need as a growing child without the extra calories.
Along with diet, physical activity is vital for weight loss. DeFATO Hub also connects you with a non-compulsory fitness trainer that can teach you and your child effective exercises that are also age-appropriate. If you want to opt for optional help from a physiotherapist, to restore, maintain, and make the most of your child’s mobility, the program can cater to that as well. The program also elicits the help of a lifestyle coach to inform them about healthy lifestyle habits to sustain their weight loss until their adulthood.
To keep your teenager motivated, DeFATO Hub has a reward system, where they can claim rewards upon achieving a specific weight loss goal.
Teen obesity is not something to turn a blind eye to. It is a serious medical issue that you or your child may not notice. Like other medical conditions, obesity is something that needs to be addressed immediately to avoid further complications. Fortunately, holistic solutions, like DeFATO Hub, are available that make weight loss easier and accessible. Ultimately, the key element that they need is a support system, to keep their health and body in check.