Over 20% of adolescents are obese, increasing their risk of health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, and joint issues.
Today’s fast-food and high-fat diets are at least partially to blame, along with a more sedentary lifestyle compared to kids of a generation ago.
As a leader in obesity medicine in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, Dana Trippi, DO, and the skilled team at Premier Physicians Weight Loss & Wellness provide the individualized care preteens and teens need to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
They also know the vital role parents play in helping their adolescent children succeed. Here are seven ways you can support your child’s weight loss journey.
Nobody likes being told to do something without a reason — especially during the adolescent years. By explaining the importance of maintaining a healthy weight to your kids, you can help them make their health a priority and start habits to last a lifetime.
Keep a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grain crackers, and cheeses on hand, and empty your cabinets of sugary sweets and fatty, salty foods.
Make it easy for kids to help themselves by offering fruits and vegetables in snack-size pieces and peanut butter or yogurt for dipping.
The days of playing outside every day have taken a back seat to video games, TV, and computer time for lots of kids.
To get your teen or preteen more interested in physical activity, set time limits for games and other sedentary interests and encourage them to choose an activity they enjoy. Try to add in some family activities too, so this time doesn’t seem like a chore.
Sugary drinks pack a lot of calories and little to no nutrition. Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge to make water more palatable to your kids, and get them a water bottle to take on trips and after-school activities.
If your teen or preteen is a diehard water hater, try fruit-flavored seltzers or low-fat milk. Be careful of serving a lot of fruit juices — even natural sugars can cause weight gain.
Providing your child with the nutrition they need to grow and thrive can be challenging, especially with a busy schedule. But cooking from scratch instead of relying on takeout, fast food, or prepackaged foods lets you pack every meal with nutrients while reducing empty calories.
If time is short, consider investing in a crockpot so you can cook while you’re at work.
Sleep is when your body repairs itself, and data show that people who don’t get enough sleep are more prone to weight gain and other health problems. Yet, plenty of kids skip sleep in favor of video games, texting, or online socializing.
Setting bedtime rules — like no electronics past a certain time — helps kids get the sleep they need to meet the demands of a growing body and mind.
“Do as I say, not as I do” might fly in some circles, but if that’s the attitude you adopt with your kids, you’re almost certain to fail. Set an example by adopting your own healthy eating habits and exercising regularly. It’s good for your kids and for your own health too.
Losing weight is never easy — for adults or kids. Together, you, your child, and our team can develop a plan tailored to your child’s needs and lifestyle so they can enjoy better health now and in the future.
To learn how we can help, book an appointment online or over the phone with Premier Physicians Weight Loss & Wellness today.