Factors and Prevention of Teen Obesity

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teen obesity

Kathlyn Gay takes a serious look at these issues in her book, Am I fat? The Obesity Issue for Teens. She explores the common factor in obese teens, how dieting effects teens, if Bariatric surgery is a valid option for teens needing to lose weight and how we can prevent teen obesity.

Factors of Teen Obesity

  • Genes that store more fat
  • The body’s natural instinct to protect itself against starvation
  • Eating more calories than you burn throughout the day
  • Emotional makeup
  • Economic status
  • Lack of sleep affecting hormones
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Changes in products to make them taste better (often with more sugar)
  • Living in a fast food world
  • Unhealthy school lunches and vending machine choices

Teens on a Diet

Teens are more likely to follow a fad diet because of the bombarding advertisements on the subject on TV, the radio, the Internet and in magazines they read. Without the experience of knowing how to determine if a diet is an opportunistic fad diet or a real way to lose weight, teens may fall for the deceptive advertisements. The appeal is usually to lose weight quickly without much effort.

Teens need to educate themselves on how to spot a fad diet and what constitutes a healthy lifestyle to promote weight loss. Experimenting with different diets from no carb and calorie restrictive diets to detox plans and miracle weight loss drugs often leave teens weighing more than when they started and feeling worse about themselves over their diet failures.

Bariatric Surgery and Teens

Should teens consider weight loss surgery? Morbidly obese teens with a BMI of 40 or more may be considered for Bariatric surgery as a last resort. Weight loss surgery carries a lot of health risks for teens and most surgeons will not perform the operation on a teen unless they are fully grown and have developed life-threatening health problems. Bariatric surgery is a big step and it is a personal decision that needs to be made between the teen and their parents, along with a knowledgeable surgeon.

How to Prevent Teen Obesity

TV commercials, Web sites and even Sesame Street characters are spreading the word about making small lifestyle changes to prevent teen obesity.
Some schools have taken an active role in educating teens about healthy food choices and providing healthier meal options at school.

But the most important factor in teen weight loss is their family. Parents who support their teen, act as a role model and get active with their teen are more successful at preventing teen obesity than those who don’t.

Am I fat? takes an honest look at the obesity issues teens face. The book offers practical advice for teens and their parents on preventing obesity, losing weight, and developing healthy habits for life.

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