Weight Watchers Get Healthy Freestyle Journey Week 26
Fighting Obesity In Children And Teens
It’s MONDAY and time once again to continue our journey into health and wellness. Thank you, for joining me as I reflect on the past week and explore the new! This week as I was responsible for feeding my grandchildren healthy food that they would like I took time to reflect on what we had been feeding them all these years. Knowing that overweight children are much more likely to become overweight adults unless they adopt and maintain healthier patterns of eating and exercise I have been trying to educate my grandchildren. Keep reading to learn more about this.
Also, if you’ve missed any of the posts in the recent weeks be sure to check them out. In the last few weeks, we’ve talked about how to overcome sugar cravings, how long it really takes to form a habit, and how gut bacteria influences your weight and weight loss. We’ve also learned the importance of hydration, uncovered where sugar is hiding in your food (aka sugar bombs), and looked at the benefits of shopping at farmer’s markets. In addition to learning the importance of milestones, how to stay motivated, the smart use of free foods, some tactics for dining out, surviving the holidays while dieting, the benefits of a 5% weight loss, diabetes, the importance of exercise, we’ve started an exercise routine, learned some beginner exercises, and gotten safety tips for exercising in the summer heat. Since beginning my weight loss journey in January, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, and the fourth of July have come and gone.
Obesity In Children And Teens
The problem of childhood obesity in the United States has grown considerably in recent years. In the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled among adolescents. According to research from the World Health Organization and Imperial College London, the number of obese children and teenagers worldwide is 10 times higher than it was four decades ago. In real numbers, that’s 124 million young people ages 5 to 19 who were obese in 2016 compared to 11 million in 1975. In addition, 213 million boys and girls were overweight but not obese last year according to the study, which looked at data from 200 countries.
“These data highlight, remind and reinforce that overweight and obesity is a global health crisis today, and threatens to worsen in coming years unless we start taking drastic action,” Fiona Bull, program coordinator for surveillance and population-based prevention of noncommunicable diseases at WHO, said in a statement. – ABC News
While obesity is among the easiest medical conditions to recognize, sadly it is most difficult to treat and frequently becomes a lifelong issue.
Ways to Manage Obesity in Children and Teens
- Start a weight-management program
- Change eating habits – Teach them to eat slowly and develop a routine (structured meal and snack times).
- Plan meals and make better food selections (provide less fatty foods, avoid having junk and fast foods available)
- Know what your child eats at school
- Teach them to control portions so that they consume fewer calories
- Increase physical activity (especially walking) and have a more active lifestyle
- Eat meals as a family instead of while watching television or at the computer
- Do not use food as a reward
- Limit snacking
- Attend a support group (e.g. Overeaters Anonymous)
Just like adults, the reason most obese adolescents gain back their lost pounds is that they tend to go back to their old habits of eating and exercising. An obese adolescent must, therefore, learn to eat and enjoy healthy foods in moderate amounts and to exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight.
Set Up Lifestyle Changes
Helping them tweak some of their habits can help them slim down and be healthier overall. The right amount of sleep, less time in front of the TV, phone, and computer, and stress-relief tricks all help to have more energy to make good choices. The best way to change how your teen eats is to keep it simple. Start with five basic steps.
- Lose the soda. Swap those calorie-heavy drinks, including juices and sports drinks, for good old water or low-fat milk.
- Make vegetable and fruits easy snack choices. Keep them clean, cut, and waiting in the front of the fridge so they’re easy to see and eat.
- Encourage breakfast every day. Teens will often give up their morning meal to sleep later, but that could mean they’re so hungry at lunch that they’ll overeat or give into junk-food cravings. So hand them something to eat on the way to school, like a smoothie made out of yogurt and fresh fruit, or an apple and a wedge of cheese.
- Don’t keep junk food in the house. Although you have limited control of what your teen eats outside your walls, you can keep the bad stuff off the menu in your home.
- Eat at home. Restaurant foods have an average of 33% more calories than the same meal cooked at home, research shows. One study found that the more often a family ate together, the less likely a teen was to be overweight.
Overweight people often have self-esteem issues. Parents and other family members, caregivers, teachers, and friends of an obese child can improve their self-esteem by emphasizing their strengths and positive qualities rather than just focusing on their weight problem. Don’t hesitate to seek help. When a child or adolescent with obesity also has emotional problems, a child and adolescent psychiatrist can work with the child’s family physician to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.
They have to be on board and involved with any plan to lose weight. Your approach is key.
The CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity offers a great collection of resources to help children and teens maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity. Two great resources are their BMI calculator which provides BMI and the corresponding BMI-for-age percentile based on the CDC growth charts and guidelines for how much and what type of physical activity children need. Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day! But if your child isn’t too active now, they’ll need to build up to that goal. Try these tactics to get them moving:
- Help set small, achievable goals. It’s fine to start with 10 minutes a day — as long as they do it. Then have them slowly add a few minutes every day. When they succeed with small steps, they’ll build self-confidence and stay motivated.
- Get the whole family involved. Take family hikes, or go on bike rides together. Keep jump ropes and hand weights around the home. Get pedometers for everyone to help you all take more steps. It’s easier for a teen to move more if everyone is doing it together.
Be a coach, not a sheriff.
You have more of an influence over your child than you might think. The trick is to not force a healthy lifestyle but to encourage them to find their own reasons to change their diet or get more exercise.
Don’t change everything at once.
Don’t suddenly outlaw all sweets, demand long workouts, and hide the video-game console. That will backfire and set your teen up for failure. Start with the simplest changes — ones that your child can complete and feel good about. Focus on doing them every day, and then encourage them to do more over time.
Consider family challenges or a reward system.
Weight Watchers Freestyle Progam – Learn more.
People who make judgments based on looks are not seeing you for the wonderful person you are.
Comment on your teen’s strengths and positive qualities regularly. Let them know that they are wonderful, and you love them unconditionally.
How my freestyle weight loss week went:
I am struggling to get and stay hydrated so the battle continues to drink and eat more water. We also spent the week with our two teenage grandchildren. What an eye-opener it was! They have been at their great-grandparents and have been eating pretty much any and everything they want all summer. The health risks became apparent and unavoidable when I took my granddaughter for a shot and they were concerned about the pressure on her heart from the excess weight. I’ve struggled with my weight all my life and do not want that for children or grandchildren. So this week we really worked on making better choices and arming them with the knowledge on how to make them for themselves.
With two teens in the house, meal time was interesting. We did do pizza but paired it with a big salad and corn dogs shared the plate with green beans and corn instead of fries. A visit to my parents was spent working in the yard and roasted chicken with veggies for dinner. What a difference from a few months ago when it would have been a high carb meal followed by dessert. Saturday we had dinner at my sister’s after a day of swimming. She did a wonderful job cooking salmon on the grill. It was so good and healthy!
With smores over the fire and such a busy week, it was soon Sunday and time to step on the scale. I was relieved to see that I had lost a half pound this week. I’ve got a goal to reach before we go to Richmond in September and can see me reaching it! Until next week… Remember to stay positive and keep looking forward.
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Did you struggle with your weight as a teen? Do you have any advice for overcoming weight problems? Please share your tips and stories with us by leaving a comment below or on my Facebook fan page.
I am not a medical professional. The contents of this website are for educational purposes and are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.