Teen Obesity

The obesity epidemic that currently affects more than a third of American adults is increasingly affecting our teens, according to the American Obesity Association. Over 30 percent of teenagers are overweight, and 15.5 percent of teens are obese. With the rise in obesity levels, even teens are experiencing weight-related health issues and contracting diseases and ailments that typically affect much older adults.

Health Effects of Teen Obesity:
•Type 2 diabetes
•Heart disease
•Sleep problems like sleep apnea
•Asthma
•High blood pressure
•Orthopedic (bone) problems due to an inability of the developing bones to support the excess weight

The Christiana Institute of Advanced Surgery is focused on helping families to become (and stay) healthy. Parents who have recently taken advantage of bariatric surgery can help their teens by including them in their new healthier lifestyle. Whether you have a teen who is overweight, obese, or even has a normal BMI, a few new behaviors can help your teen achieve, or remain, at a healthy weight.

How to Help Teens Prevent or Combat Obesity:

•Enroll in a Sports Team or Fitness Club- The family that plays together stays together. Sign up for a team sport, dance class, or fitness club and exercise together. Take the opportunity to help your teen develop an appreciation for daily exercise.
•Eat Family Dinner- Aside from having some control over whether your teen is consuming enough nutrients during the day, studies have shown that teens who eat at home with family are less likely to smoke, abuse drugs, or drink alcohol.
•Replace Sugary Drinks- Research has shown that consumption of soda may be responsible for playing a role in our nation’s widespread adult and teen obesity epidemic. Instead of buying sodas or nutritionally void juices, supply your fridge with flavored or sparkling waters.
•Stock up on Snacks- The healthy kind, of course. Teens will be more likely to reach for healthy snacks if they are available and ready to eat. Prepare fresh fruits and vegetables or small portions of dried fruit or nuts for an after school snack.

The best way to avoid illness associated with obesity is prevention. Make sure that you’re providing the best healthy atmosphere for your teen as possible. If you’ve recently had weight loss surgery like the Lap-Band, gastric bypass, or gastric sleeve, you’ve most likely had to change your eating and fitness habits. Share those changes with your children. Encourage them to make better eating and fitness habits. As the parent you have a lot of influence in how your teens view health.

To learn more about how you can combat adult obesity, attend one of our free informational seminars or call (302) 892-9900. Our knowledgeable physicians can help you determine if bariatric surgery may be right for you.

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