Obesity Treatment in Children and Adolescents

An important part of obesity treatment in children and adolescents is that families and healthcare professionals are sensitive to young people and focus on positive results. Small-scale and achievable goals should be set in the way of losing weight, so that the result is not a deterrent and the normal growth process continues.

The participation of all family members is also a motivating factor. Weight control programs involving both parents and children have greater importance in long-term efficacy compared to the program applied directly to the child only.

When obesity treatment is found to be needed, your healthcare provider may offer you one or more options.

1) Nutrition Therapy

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), there is a steady decline in the nutritional quality of children and adolescents as they get older.

One of the important stages of obesity treatment is to contact a dietician / nutritionist who specializes in children’s needs. Nutrition counselors determine the nutritional elements that are suitable for healthy nutrition.

Nutritionists, as they do in adults, may or may not recommend reducing the calorie intake of the child, reading the nutritional tables and following the guideline food pyramid, choosing the appropriate portion quantity, and ready-made food. Some of the nutritional methods they usually recommend include eating small bites, chewing food longer, and avoiding eating too fast.

2) Physical Activity

The United States Department of Health recommends that children engage in physical activity for at least 60 minutes a day. If the time is over, a program suitable for the person should be prepared which takes it as the last target to be reached.

3) Behavior Therapy

This treatment includes changes made to achieve an ideal weight through nutrition and physical activities. Some behavioral treatment strategies for children and adolescents should also include parents.

Some of the behavioral treatment methods suitable for children are;

• Your nutrition and exercise activities to regularly monitor the types and quantities of your meals; write their location and time. Thus, you can see the problems that may arise and take precautions.

• Identify high-risk situations (such as the presence of many high-calorie foods in your kitchen) so that you are deliberately away from them. Watching TV at mealtimes is another risky situation, as it may cause a desire to eat whenever the TV is on.

• Reward yourself after some positive actions. For example, after reaching the exercise time you have set as a target or consuming less than a type of food that can cause harm.

• The child and family can decide together what the rewards of achieving the goal will be; this reward should of course encourage positive behavior. For example, the tools, clothes, balls, etc. they will use as a reward for doing sports. giving them can make them more physically active.

• Do not view food as a reward, especially those with high calories. Otherwise, the desire for them will increase even more. Parents and healthcare professionals should frequently praise children and say they appreciate their behavior.

Try to stand out from inaccessible goals and false beliefs about losing weight.

• The family can act as a group to organize weekly activities and achieve a goal. Prepare a contract to be committed to the goal and have it signed by each member of the family. In addition to helping your child to cope with the reactions of his peers, you can also help him take a positive attitude while gaining new forms of behavior.

• You can establish a social support network (family, friends or neighbors), which your child will maintain in a positive and motivated environment.

4) Drug Treatment

The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved a drug to be used in the treatment of obesity in children. However, clinical trials are about to conclude.

5) Surgical Intervention

Surgical procedures such as gastric bypass have been successfully applied in adolescents. However, surgical intervention in adolescents; it can be considered to improve serious medical conditions, if any.


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