Obesity is the increase in body weight associated with an imbalance in the proportions of the different components of the organism. Mainly increases with an abnormal fat distribution by the body and can cause or predispose to suffer from other diseases.
In Western countries are seeing a rise in obesity among children and youth with prevalence around the 4%.
This change has been implicated several factors:
Nutritional habits: more and more teenagers will stop eating a “Mediterranean diet” (rich in fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates) to a diet rich in fats and sugars rapidly absorbed, ie foods that are high energy and low volume (pastries, cakes or sweets.
Sedentary lifestyle: the less physical activity in adolescents because their activities are very passive leisure watching television, shopping malls, the console …
The influence of fashion advertising bombards young people encouraging them to consume a wide range of drinks and high energy food and unhealthy (soft drinks, fast food, snacks …)
Emotional problems: anxiety especially in adolescents with family problems or school. The only way to calm the anxiety is eating (as a source of pleasure or reward).
Do not forget that genetic factors, hormonal or health may affect obese, although these causes are less frequent than usual is the acquisition of bad eating habits.
Call your pediatrician if you notice that the teenager is much fatter or have unhealthy behaviors with food. The pediatrician should explore the adolescent and, if necessary to make a comprehensive study to evaluate possible underlying diseases justifying obesity.
Treatment of obesity is based on two very important pillars: the promotion of physical activity (to avoid a sedentary lifestyle) and the acquisition of healthy eating habits. The adolescent should be informed of the problems that can cause obesity and what measures are healthier to avoid being obese in adulthood. Be established to monitor very closely with the youth and for a long time. It should involve the family in the practice of these healthy guidelines: diet and exercise.
The recommended dietary guidelines are different depending on whether a teenager or a child who has not yet made the spurt. In the case of the child should not be recommending diets low in calories but a diet counseling appropriate for your age and just avoiding the intake of high-energy foods such as pastries, sweets, sausages … Eat five servings of fruit and vegetables a day.
In the adolescent and you can enter a hypocaloric diet for time not too long. Should be advised to make five meals a day: breakfast, midmorning, lunch, snack and dinner.
Physical activity should always be recommended. Should be recommended daily walks, climbing stairs … The teenager should choose a sport you enjoy and that will motivate their practice. The ideal is to perform regular aerobic physical activity (swimming, cycling or walking) with a three days a week.
In adolescents not recommended drugs to reduce appetite. Bariatric surgery (gastric bypass technique) is contraindicated in childhood obesity, and has only been seen in some adolescents with morbid obesity and severe additional problems.
Complications of obesity are many, especially an obese adolescent will be an obese adult. Overweight in adolescents may have a significant psychosocial impact leading to low self-esteem, poor school performance and isolation. Obesity can cause hormonal disturbances, breathing (sleep apnea), cardiovascular (hypertension), scoliosis, skin or digestive disorders (fatty liver), which reduce the quality of life of adolescents.
Preventing obesity should be done from early childhood: promoting breastfeeding, delaying the introduction of complementary feeding up to six months and promoting health education campaigns in society and schools that promote eating habits and healthy physical activity .