An Action Plan to Combat Adolescent Obesity


Be Safe by Taking Correct Action

Now adolescent obesity can be risky, but you can avoid it by taking corrective action. It is all about making your kids more active, getting them to consume and follow a healthy diet, and even improving their self-esteem by following basic methods to get rid of childhood obesity.

Obesity Can Be Prevented for Kids

The prevention of obesity starts from a young age. It is necessary for assisting young people to have a healthy weight and that too without focusing on the scale.

Try to Breastfeed Kids

Certain sources proved that kids that are often breastfeeding during their initial days have fewer chances of getting obese. Still, more research is required when it comes to obesity prevention.

Feeding Kinds That Are Growing With Appropriate Portion Sizes

Many studies show that toddlers won’t require a huge amount of food. Right from the age of one to three years old, each inch of the height must equate to around 40 calories of the food intake. Most importantly, one should encourage older kids to learn what different portion sizes look like.

Developing Early Relationship With Good and Healthy Foods

It is important to encourage your kids to try many kinds of fruits, proteins, vegetables, etc right from an early age. Hence, as they grow older, they can easily inhabit healthy foodstuff into their own diet.

Trying to Have Food (Healthy) as a Family

Modifying the eating habits as a family can help kids to undergo healthy eating habits early on. That can make it easier to continue following the best eating habits as one grows to an adult.

Encouraging Best and Eating Slowly Only When One Is Hungry

Overeating can occur only if you consume when food when you are not hungry. The excess amount of fuel gets stored as body fat and would lead to obesity. Hence, try to encourage your kids to consume only when you are feeling hungry and even make sure to chew more slowly for getting better digestion.

Try to Limit Unhealthy Foods at Your Household

If you are bringing unhealthy foods to your household, your kids are more likely to consume them. Better it would be to stock your fridge and pantry with healthy food and even avoid less healthy stacks to get accumulated in your household.

Just Avoid Focusing On Weight Loss

As a kid’s body is developing, many doctors recommend avoiding traditional based weight loss methods. Well, a calorie-restricted diet can help kids from getting the necessary minerals, vitamins, and even energy for proper growth.

The focus must be on assisting the kid to develop healthy eating habits. Make sure to consult with the paediatrician and the family healthcare provider just before placing your kid on the diet regime.

Keep in mind that childhood obesity won’t happen in a vacuum. Here, it is influenced by a child’s surroundings, experiences, and physical characteristics. Due to such factors, we encourage primary care providers, communities, and families to come together to address this obesity issue. One of the most common methods is through the development of a healthy weight plan (HWP) that promotes healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle within the context of a child’s culture, community, and family.

How to Know Whether One’s Kid Is Overweight?

As a parent, you must not make any changes to a child’s diet based solely on perceptions of overweight. Not many people are aware that many pre-schoolers exhibit their own individual body structure and growth pattern. When it comes to obesity in children, it is tough as children grow in unpredictable spurts. Frankly, it must be done by a health care professional, using the child’s height and weight relative to his previous growth history.

Assisting Kids That Are Overweight

Weight loss is not a good approach for most young children, since their bodies are growing and developing. Overweight children should not be put on a diet unless a physician supervises one for medical reasons. A restrictive diet may not supply the energy and nutrients needed for normal growth and development. For most very young children, the focus should be to maintain current weight, while the child grows normally in height.

The most important strategies for preventing obesity are healthy eating behaviours, regular physical activity, and reduced sedentary activity (such as watching television and videotapes and playing computer games). These preventative strategies are part of a healthy lifestyle that should be developed during early childhood.

Trying to Encourage Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Parents can help in preventing childhood obesity by providing healthy meals and snacks, daily physical activity, and nutrition education. Healthy meals and snacks would provide the necessary nutrition for growing bodies. Plus, these would model healthy eating behaviour and attitudes.

Increased physical activity can lower health risks and helps weight management. Proper nutrition education can allow young children to develop an awareness of good nutrition and healthy eating habits for a lifetime.

Nowadays, kids could be encouraged to opt for all kinds of healthy eating behaviours. They can even be physically active when parents make extreme decisions to focus on good health and not certain weight goal. They need to teach and model healthy and positive attitudes regarding food and physical activity without putting too much importance on body weight.

Another aspect is to focus on the family. Never make overweight children stray. Always try to involve the whole family. Here it is all about working to gradually change the family’s physical activity and eating habits.

Another aspect is to create a daily meal and snack times. Eating together as frequently as possible would be a great thing. Plan sensible portions.

Always Give Nutritious Food Items

Healthy, balanced, low-fat meals offer the nutrition that your kids need and help them develop smart eating habits. Teach them about the importance of eating balanced meals with a variety of nutrient-rich items like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy, legumes, and lean meats.

Keep a Track on the Portion Size

Naturally, overeating would lead to obesity. Then that means you must make sure that your children have a proper portion of food items. For example, many studies show that two to three ounces of cooked poultry, lean meat, or fish are a single portion so is one slice of bread, one-half a cup of cooked rice or pasta, and two ounces of cheese.

Make Kids to Get Up and Move Around

Doctors and dietitians suggest that kids’ time on the couch must be limited. It should be no more than two hours daily. When it concerns kids, they already need to have time to do homework and quiet reading. Always limit their time with other sedentary activities like video games, TV, and surfing the Internet.

A Great Physical Activity

Studies show that all kids need to engage in at least an hour of physical activity every day. This can be an aerobic activity like running, muscle strengthening like gymnastics, and bone-strengthening like jumping rope.

Becoming Creative

Some Kids Get Bored Easily and Won’t Be Intrigued by Monotonous Forms of Exercise. No Need to Worry. You Can Make Them Try Different Forms of Activity That Will Stimulate and Inspire. These Can Be Like Playing Tag, Dancing, Jumping Rope, or Playing Soccer.

Throwing Away Temptations

If you stock the pantry with all kinds of junk food, your child will be more likely to eat it. People need to realize that kids often look to parents especially on how to eat. Hence, as a parent, you need to be a healthy role model and remove tempting but unhealthy options like calorie-rich, sugar-filled, and salty snacks from the house. Always keep in mind that the calories from sugary drinks add up, too. Try to cut back on the amount of soda and juice you purchase for your family.

Avoid the Consumption of Fats and Sweets

Kids never understand that eating a lot of calories from candy and other sweets and fattening treats would lead to obesity unless you explain it to them. Let kids have occasional goodies, but don’t make a habit of it.

Switching Off TV While Having Food

Kids may overeat if they watch television while snacking, according to various experts. There are research to clearly show that the more television children watch, the more likely they are to gain extra pounds. Even such studies show that children with televisions in their bedrooms are also more likely to be overweight than children with TV-free rooms.

Getting Kids to Follow Healthy Habits

When children learn about how to plan meals, shop for low-fat foods, and prepare nutritious dishes, they’ll be developing healthy habits that may last a lifetime. Involve kids in these activities and encourage them to participate in becoming more aware of their food choices.

Primary Focus Must Be On Being Healthy

Many doctors clearly state that when kids are obese, they are at greater risk for a wide number of health conditions. These problems include asthma, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and sleep disorders.

Speak and Select Words in a Careful Way

Adults especially parents must be careful to avoid stigmatizing language. Doctors and nutrition associations advise using neutral words like “increased weight” and “elevated body mass index” versus “obese” or “overweight.” This includes, as discussed, de-emphasizing weight loss altogether to focus on developing healthy habits before addressing weight.

Commonly the weight stigma is often tolerated and propagated in society as there are beliefs related to its shame and stigma. That would motivate people to lose weight.

However, there is not any crucial evidence that shaming people would just motivate them in losing weight. Of course, shaming is more likely to result in more weight gain, less physical activity, binge eating, social isolation, and avoidance of health care. Nowadays, health and fitness professionals can improve a teen’s adherence to a program by showing a positive attitude, avoiding blame, and focusing on the teen’s strengths, as opposed to failures.

Trying to Encourage Adults to Have a Healthy Behavior

Well, health and fitness professionals can encourage parents to model healthy habits. Many research works show that parents that urge a child to diet will do a lot of harm than any good. Instead, parents can help by modelling healthy habits and a healthy relationship with food for the whole family.

Helping Kids to Make a Great Choice

Have you ever thought about the idea of providing kids the autonomy and tools to create some healthy choices? You can teach some powerful aspects like specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound activities. These can be a kind of goal setting and developing habit-based goals.

Such type of methods would make the teens up for certain faster wins and would motivate them always. As soon as the kid follows the SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals, you could encourage them to try some latest skills. These can be nutrition labels, noting hunger, understanding the serving sizes, fullness cues, etc.

Here such a kind of skill would help teens to be involved, empowered, and even achieve the necessary goals. Also, there are other means to empower teens, and that involves making them attend fitness and health appointments on their own without the assistance of their parents.

If you are a fitness professional or healthcare one, try to make sure to inform the parents of the whole plan of action that you are going to follow. This way it can help them to nurture a home-like environment and even help the kids to achieve their health goals.

Following a Multidisciplinary Approach Might Work

Now, there is certainly strong evidence to promote that kids that succeed in improving their weight and health would be able to do so from the assistance of their family. An extended support network and multidisciplinary team are what parents are for such kids.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.

You might also like