Preventing Teenage Obesity

What are things you can do at home to prevent teenage obesity? Being overweight or obese can be defined as excessive or abnormal accumulation of weight that can be a risk to health. A body mass index (BMI) of more than 25 is considered overweight, and above 30 is known as obese.


The prevalence of obesity in teens and children is too high. According to the stats from 2017-2020, 19.7 percent of adolescents aged between 2 and 19 were affected by obesity. It measures a total of about 14.7 million children and teens.

When it comes to the cure, parents can help their teens overcome obesity. Before diving into the tips, let’s first discuss the causes and effects of obesity in teens.


What Are the Causes Of Obesity


It is often considered that lack of exercise and poor diet are the most common reasons for obesity in teens. A general perception is that modern-day teens are too addicted to video games and are having high calorie processed foods on a regular basis. However, these are not the only factors.

According to a study by, there may be many other elements involved in such a situation. Genetics, mental health, communal environment, or maybe other health conditions are contributing to teenage obesity.

The first and foremost thing a parent should understand and make their teen know is that there may be different reasons for obesity. It’s not always your child’s fault that they had to suffer from such a condition.


Effects Of Obesity in Teens


There are several symptoms that can be observed in teens. Going fat or gaining excessive weight is not the only thing that occurs with obesity. It is also associated with an increased risk of emotional problems. It is observed that teens who are affected by obesity tend to be less popular with their peers and have lower self-esteem as compared to teens of their age. Obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression can also occur with obesity.


How To Prevent Teenage Obesity – 5 Useful Tips for Parents


Teenage obesity is a broader issue. Teens with obesity have the best resource in the shape of their parents or trusted adults who can help them with their conditions. Parents can encourage healthy habits, including regular exercise and a balanced diet. Here are some tips for parents that can help them to guide their teens to combat obesity.


1.    Make Your Teens Understand the Good Or Bad Foods


The first thing parents can do while pursuing the prevention of teenage obesity is to make their teens avoid eating less nutritious food on a regular basis.

Having one candy bar or fast food occasionally is not going to stop your teen from achieving healthier eating habits. You should understand that the repeated consumption of less nutritious food is much more problematic.

It would be ideal for parents to understand while preventing teenage obesity, the key is balance with regards to restricting undesirable food varieties. Using food sources that provide multiple nutrients while allowing teens to have a burger or sandwich can be significantly more useful to youngsters confronting long-term obesity.

It is more important than restricting them from bad foods to make them aware of what can be harmful to them. You cannot always restrict your teens’ fast food intake. It will help more if they are avoiding such foods themselves.


2.    Emphasize More Upon the Importance Of Nutrients & Balanced Calories


With the growth of your children, the calorie intake required for them will change. Even rich-nutrient meals might be too high when it comes to calories, which can still make your teens gain weight.

However, balancing calories does not mean that you have to keep an eye on the calorie count of every food intake. You just need to make the process simple.

As per the suggestions from CDC, you can encourage healthy eating habits by serving reasonable portions of food and offering healthier and easy-to-digest meals such as lean meats and poultry. The most important factor is to increase the water intake and try to replace it with high-sugar beverages.

You can take your teens while buying grocery items and invite them to participate while ordering foods so that you can help them pick healthier options.


3.    Motivate Them to Participate In Exercise And Healthy Activities


If maintaining a healthy diet is the first step towards the prevention of teenage obesity, the second is exercise. Activities and workouts ensure that your teen is fresh and active throughout the day.

National Diabetes Education Initiative (NDEI) that you should motivate your teens to exercise by including all the family members during the physical session. This way, the obese child will not feel left out or ostracized.

Exercise does not mean going for a proper workout daily. You may produce a variety of physical activities, including a basketball game, a walk through the neighborhood, swimming on the weekend or jogging in the morning. More options come with cycling, HIIT or going to the gym sometimes.

You can also look for some ways to make the exercise more fun and part of the entertainment. Different sports games could be the best option for teens suffering from obesity.

Remember that it is regular physical activities and the involvement of your family that can help your child with teenage obesity. You need to be a role model for your teen. Always encourage them with positive results. You can motivate them by setting up some targets. Calculate BMI for teens and celebrate their small achievements.


4.    Teach Your Teens the Benefits Of Exercise And Healthy Eating


Just making your teens exercise or enforcing healthy eating habits is not the solution. Parents can effectively contribute to the prevention of teenage obesity by helping your teens to understand the importance of exercise and healthy eating.

It is sometimes challenging for parents to communicate with your teens at their growing age. However, you need to make sure that the communication is friendly, so it would be more effective.

Cater for your teen according to the situation. For instance, if your teen is suffering from low self-esteem and is emotionally or mentally disturbed, take out some time to talk and make them understand that having healthier foods will impact their mental well-being as well and will help them relax.

Similarly, if your teen is concerned about being overweight, it would become easier for you to help them understand the importance of exercise and physical activities.


5.    Be Careful About The Way You Talk And Terminologies You Use


Obesity is basically a measure of body mass index, somehow a ratio of body weight with height. Teens who are labeled as obese, rank in the 95th BMI percentile or simply have more weight as compared to their sex and age group.

All you need to do is make your teens understand that they are a bit unhealthy, and this is not something that cannot be catered to. However, if they will not care for their situation, they may be at risk of health ailments that can further cause other issues as well.

You need to make sure that you talk to them in a way that does not demotivate them or discourage them. Tell them that obesity can be caused for many other reasons other than poor eating or lack of exercise. There might be some other factors behind obesity, including communal environment, mental or emotional health, or maybe genetics.

Along with this, you should also emphasize that, whatever the reason is for teenage obesity, it is exercise and healthy eating that will help your teen overcome the condition.


While Summing Up

Being a parent, it is important to understand that teenage obesity is not always caused by a lack of exercise or poor eating. If your child is suffering from obesity, you can play an effective role in keeping them mentally and physically healthy.

Along with taking care of their habits, it is crucial that your teens should understand the condition they are suffering from and know the importance of exercise and healthy eating.


Read: 5 Benefits of Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens.

Read: What Causes Teenage Mental Health Issues.

Author Bio: Stella Lincoln is currently working as a Health Advisor at Crowd Writer. She is a fitness trainer and loves to share her expertise and knowledge with the readers. Stella is fond of traveling and often travels solo to explore the beauty of nature. She likes to try new recipes in her leisure time.


Is your teen struggling with their eating habits? Are you concerned for their health both emotionally and physically? Have you consulted your healthcare professionals? Exhausted your local resources?  Contact us for information how residential treatment may be able to assist your teenager.



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