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Feb 18 2016

What is the Right Approach to Controlling Childhood Obesity?

Published by at 7:11 pm under Obesity

child-obesity-weight-lossObesity is a major health problem in almost all countries around the world. Childhood obesity is already considered an epidemic and a primary cause of serious health diseases on children and adolescents. Many children are already taking weight loss medications to counter these obesity-related illnesses.

There are many ways parents can do to help their children avoid childhood obesity. Giving kids nutritious foods early on can prevent them from getting overweight. They should not allow them to eat junk foods and fast foods laced with too much sugar and carbohydrates. As parents, they need to take control over the kind of foods that their children are eating. They should not forget to teach them early about nutrition and most importantly, parents should become role models to their children. However, the statistics still show an increasing rate of childhood obesity.

Grim Facts about Childhood Obesity

Although Asian countries have some of the least occurrences of overweight and obesity worldwide, they are experiencing shocking rates of the disease in recent years. Malaysia has the highest obesity frequency at 14% in the South East Asia region, with Thailand next in line (8.8%). These statistics fall far behind those in the Oceanic countries, with 26.8% obesity rates in Australia and 28.3% in New Zealand. The occurrence of obesity in these countries is comparable to the rates seen in the United Kingdom (26.9%) and US (33%).

Since the US has the biggest number of obese children, the government must improve its programs that aim to curtail or minimize the incidence of obesity in the country. Obesity can have a serious impact on the adolescent’s health. It can result in cardiovascular disease (mainly heart disease and stroke), musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis, type2 diabetes, some cancers (breast, endometrial and colon), asthma, sleep apnea, and social discrimination. These ailments cause premature death, disability, and emotional and social problem.

Finding the Right Solutions to Childhood Obesity

Parents can teach their kids to develop healthy eating habits by simply making their favorite dishes healthier and lower down calorie-rich dishes. They should help their kids stay active and understand the benefits of being physically active. In addition, parents should encourage kids to spend their leisure time well.

Parents should not underestimate the risks associated with childhood obesity. They should seek proper medical treatment to manage any acute or chronic complications of obesity such as abnormal eating disorders or severe depression. However, any remedial treatment is not likely to succeed without the understanding, support, and active involvement of family members. Family therapy is efficient for obese kids who are not responding well on therapeutic treatments, such as taking drugs to encourage weight loss.

Are Appetite Suppressants the Key to Controlling Childhood Obesity?

Medical intervention is already necessary if the child or teen is already considered obese. This will help prevent complications that can affect the child’s normal growth. For adolescents with eating disorders, one common option is to let them take medications that will control their cravings for food. The doctor may prescribe appetite suppressants and other drugs that will address their condition.

Appetite suppressants are effective in controlling appetite, which then result in significant weight loss. However, this drug should only be given to an obese child or teen if it is prescribed by a doctor. Appetite suppressants like Phentermine, are potent drugs so proper diagnosis and assessment of the child’s overall health must be performed. The doctor should weigh in the benefits and the potential side effects that the obese child may experience. Not all obese children can just take any medication for weight loss. Phentermine, for example, is only recommended for 15 years old and above. Use of the medicine below this age bracket must be approved by a health care professional.

So if you want your obese child or teenager to reduce weight in a safe and healthy manner, always consult a professional. You may need a dietitian, a weight loss doctor, and other health experts to help your child have a healthy weight and live a normal, happy life.

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