In a society that is obsessed with the way a person looks, it’s easy to overlook the fact that obesity and being overweight it not all about appearance issues. In fact, there are many health problems that can be caused by overeating and obesity. Having an understanding of what causes children and teens to overeat and become obese is also important in finding ways to help them. Here are the common reasons for obesity and overeating among teens:
1. Medical problems such as endoctrinal or horomonal issues.
2. Poor eating habits
4. Side effects of medication
5. Stressful life events such as death of a family member, abuse, being bullied, parents’ divorce, etc.
7. Low self-esteem
8. Family problems
If left unresolved, consequences could include increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, different types of diabetes, apnea, and more. Not to mention what further damage obesity can do to teens’ self-esteem.
Aside from the medical reasons, most of the reasons why a teen overeats and becomes obese as a result are often caused by underlying emotional issues. As a parent, you can help them deal with that by exploring possible interventions.
Fat camps for overweight teens have gained popularity several years back. Fat camps are primarily concerned with helping teens lose weight through eating a regimented diet and imposing physically taxing exercises. While teens can really lose weight in fat camps, these places will put teens on a uniform, regimented diet without really considering the individual needs of each camper. It may be effective on a short term basis, if health loss is your only goal. However, it’s not something that you can really count on on a long term basis because the underlying issues that caused the problem in the first place are left unresolved for the most part.
Healthy weight loss camps can be more effective than fat camps for overweight teens in the sense that good camps usually have a personalized program for each participant. Teens are not forced into a standard mold that hopes to produce desirable but superficial effects. The experience can be more positive rather than feeling like a punishment.
Another option you can explore as an alternative for fat camps for overweight teens is wilderness therapy programs. Most teens have weight problems because of poor self-esteem and self-image issues or because they’re having a hard time coping with events or changes in their lives. Eating is their way of asserting control over things that they feel they have no control over. While fat camps for overweight teens can succeed in removing the extra pounds off the weight of teens, wilderness programs can teach teens how they can make good decisions out of a deeper sense of personal responsibility.
During individual and group therapy sessions, it’s not just the issues with food choices which are being tackled but issues about how one sees one’s self, how one deals with difficult situations, and more. Staying in a wilderness camp is not all about burning and counting calories. Losing weight is a byproduct of healthy physical activities that children do daily as well as eating healthy food and sleeping on time.
Finding the right solution for you teen involves getting to know your teen and what underlying issues may be causing them to act out this way. How can you help them keep their commitment to healthier lifestyle choices? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Take steps towards changing the eating habits of the family.
2. Plan family meals to include healthier options.
3. Plan outdoor family activities to make exercising a fun and positive experience.
4. Make food that your child can bring to school.
5. Don’t reward your child with food.
It would also help if you can attend family counseling together so that you can learn more about how to help your teen overcome the impulses that lead to overeating.