Obesity is one of the scourges of teenage. Teenage obesity should be taken a lot more seriously than it is at present for the lifelong scars it leaves.
Obese teenagers find it more difficult to cope with the ups and downs of teenage development because of the obesity. They notice the peers of the opposite sex being attracted to their non obese friends: Popularity with opposite sex is important for teenagers’ self-esteem and self-concept development.
Consequently, obese teenagers often retreat into isolation and spend hours in imaginary future when they would have a perfect body – also an imaginary: Idealistic unreachable goals are set under the influence of media models.
The emotional upheaval gets reemphasized when they are out to shop for new attractive dresses; most in fashion dresses come only in small sizes! The time when youths are full of vigor, enthusiasm, fun and laughter, obese teenagers spend sulking about their food and eating habits in solitude.
They begin hating themselves for being fat: The distance from this state of mind to full blown eating disorder is but a hair’s breadth.
Teenage obesity distorts thinking process: Obese teenagers postpone all enjoyable activities till when they have lost weight. They are therefore trapped in an unsatisfying vicious circle of self dislike, which takes them towards food as compensation and results in further weight gain; and back to more self dislike.
Small victories go unrewarded: Initial small weight loss does not satisfy them. They desire quick results; after all their life is at a standstill until the perfect figure is reached.
They believe that they will be able to eat as they like after they have lost weight. Unfortunately, at teenage and especially when a child is obese, he/she does not realize that losing weight and maintaining it so is a matter of lifestyle and not a quick fix.
Teenage obesity should be taken a lot more seriously than it is at present for the lifelong scars it leaves. Besides the stretch marks, it batters children psychologically at a very tender age. They carry the feelings of inadequacy and distorted body image through the adulthood.
Instead of regarding obesity as a cause of self hate, children in their tween and teen years should be encouraged to regard it as a challenge to build a healthy body.
Teenage obesity should be given a benefit of doubt:
Obese children’s hormones should be checked before blaming their obesity solely on unhealthy eating habits. They should also be given the benefit of psychological help.
Peer pressure, in disturbed emotional state attributable to teenage obesity, gets all the more difficult to handle. Children go through tremendous turmoil during their psychosocial development. Soft caring concern will help them to deal with their individual problems and their problems with peers.
Lastly but most importantly, parents should set a good example by adopting healthy habits themselves that children can emulate.
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Child Health Explanation