Adolescents, especially during their puberty, will have an increase in appetite and may lead to overweight. Parents play an important role in helping their children to get out of their bad habits and develop better eating habits, guide them to the path of healthy eating. Here are some tips:
- Eat healthy: Fast food is convenient and cheap but don’t forget, it builds up fat fast. A regular hamburger meal from McDonalds would easily go over the calorie intake we need everyday. Please try to make healthy and nutritious good for your kids. If it is not possible to do so for all 3 meals – definitely cook breakfast as it is the first meal of the day and it is when our body most effectively absorb the nutrition we need. Do avoid sugary drinks which would hinder the process of weight loss – especially energy drinks that are supposed to be taken after exercise. The sugar level in these energy drinks is particularly high.
- Move! While we understand that playing video games and watching Netflix all day could be relaxing for both you and your children – do not forget to go out on a good day and do some exercise. Walking around the neighborhoods is recommended – it is easy and you can spend more time with your kids!
- Set small goals – take it easy! Slow and steady is the key to weight loss. Set more realistic goals such as losing 1-2 kg a week instead of encouraging your kids to lose 30 pounds a month! It can place a lot of unnecessary pressure on the teenager and that is not what we want. Set up award schemes so they are entitled to do something special once they hit their goal – encouragement is important in the long journey of weight loss.
Hang in there and you will eventually be able to shed those pounds! Good luck to you all!
Last week, I talked about how obesity could be caused by hidden physical diseases. Today, I will be talking about how obesity, especially obesity amongst children, could be caused by other factors. What causes obesity? Simple – if a person takes in more calories that one uses for energy, it is very likely that he or she will gain weight – they eat way too much and don’t want to move their lazy butts! As you all would know now, IT IS NOT THAT SIMPLE. Our knowledge on how the body regulates weight and body fat is limited and is an area that requires further clarification, increasing the difficulty in picking out one single cause of childhood obesity. In fact, it is often a complex combination of risk factors, such as socioeconomic factors, genes and lifestyle choices that contributes to the formation of obesity amongst children. Studies have shown that genetics play a main role in determining whether one would have obesity or not – it is indicated that a child’s risk for obesity rises if one of the parents was obese. Socioeconomic factors, surprisingly, significantly affect one’s eating habits. There is a very strong tie between one’s economic status and obesity – generalizations such as obesity is a lot more common among people with low-income are often raised in articles . When we pause and think about it, it is actually not that hard to believe given that fast food, such as pizza and burgers, are a lot more expensive than fresh vegetables.
In this week, i will show you a clearly information about obesity. Obesity and overweight are measured using the Body Mass Index (BMI), which is calculated weight divided by height in meters squared. A person is regarded as obese if his/her BMI is over 30. While we know that obesity is a serious health issue, not a lot of people are aware of how serious this issue is in the Australian society. Between 1995 and 2015, there is a 10% increase in the number of obese adults, meaning that there are 2 obese adults amongst 3 adults in Australia. The more worrying fact is that 1 in 4 children are overweight and obese, indicating that there will likely be a further increase in adult who are obese in the near future, especially those living in rural areas (given that 15% more people living in outer regional and remote areas are overweight than people living in major cities). While you may think that smoking is the highest contributor to burden of diseases, overweight and obesity is ahead of smoking. Overweight, especially obesity, is a major risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even some cancers. Being overweight severely hampers the ability to control and manage pre-existing chronic disorders. Just in case you are still not feeling how obesity can severely impact your health, have a look at BBC’s documentary: Obesity, the post mortem.
Continuing from the previous post on exploring the cause of obesity, we will be exploring how one’s poor mental health could also be an important factor that contributes to the development of obesity. Anxiety and depression are the most common mental diseases the about 25% of the world’s population would experience at least once in a lifetime in which the number of teenagers suffering from such diseases significantly increased over the last 30 years. While lack of motivation to get out of bed is a more common symptom associated with anxiety and depression, overeating, is one of the less known symptoms of anxiety and depression. There is a very popular on TED that explains what depression is and has indicated that people with symptoms of depression are often reluctant to receive treatment and those who eventually received treatments have often been struggling with the problem for about 10 years. This is particularly difficult for adolescents to be aware their change in eating and physical behaviour as they would most likely think that the change is linked to puberty. I believe that given the forever increasing number of people getting mental illnesses, it is of utmost importance that the government and various NGOs, such as Beyond blue, to make sure adolescents have access of relevant information and services more efficiently.
This week I would like to focus on the causes of obesity amongst children and adolescents in Australia. It is known to the general public that obesity severely hinders the overall wellbeing of children and adolescents, including their psychological, physical and social health. While the most immediate causes of obesity can be identified as having imbalanced diets and lack of physical exercises, there is much more that meets the eye. For instance, Obesity can be caused by other hidden physical diseases, such as PCOS. PCOS is the short form for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and it is a disease in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. This disease is not easily detected as its symptoms, such as having acnes, growth of extra facial hair as well as irregular periods resembles with the changes in female who is currently going through puberty. A delay in treating PCOS in one’s puberty often leads to serious health problems and diabetes is one of them.
A handful of us would have known this fact before reading this post and although you folks, who are reading this post now knows that physical health issues could be a major underlying cause of obesity, the social stigma that obesity is simply caused by one’s unbalanced diet and lack of physical exercise remains firmly in place. It is perhaps time for us to start eradicating this social stigma by spreading the words that the idea of obesity is rigid and outdated. It would be beneficial to people suffering from obesity’s social health in the sense that they would be more likely to actively searching for a the cause of their obesity, such as making an appointment for a full body examination to see if their inability to control their weight gain is caused by another physical disease, instead of falling into the abyss of self-loathing once they find out that they are crazily gaining weight.