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How to Incorporate a Weight Loss Program for Teenagers.

Childhood obesity in the U.S. has grown significantly over the years. Approximately 17% (or 12.7 million) of children and adolescents aged 2 -19 years are obese.  According to American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry’s “Obesity in Children & Teens“, overweight teens are much more likely to become overweight adults. If one parent is obese, there is a 50% chance that their children will be obese.  When both parents are obese that percentage increases to 80%!  Because of this growth trend in teen obesity, there has been an uptick in the number of pediatric – adult affiliated weight loss programs at centers across the country.  This type of program allows the teen to continue their weight loss program into adult life.

How is teen obesity managed and treated?

A thorough medical evaluation of the teen is needed to make sure that there is not a physical cause for the excess weight gain and this can be an evaluation performed by the teen’s own Pediatrician or Family Doctor. Without any physical cause, the next step is to get the teen on a program that includes nutrition guidance, education on mindful eating, calorie control and increased physical activity.

A weight loss program for teenagers may be similar to this:

  • An initial evaluation for the teen is scheduled with a Doctor, Registered Dietitian and Psychologist that all specialize in weight management.
  • A decision is made on the number of program visits needed for the teen. For example it may be 7 or 8 visits, starting with the evaluation.
  • Each program visit with the Doctor and Dietitian may focus on something specific:
  1. Nutrition education.
  2. Guidance for eating outside the home.
  3. Guidance on snacks and drink choices.
  4. Physical activity/exercise.
  5. Reducing TV, phone and other electronic device usage.
  6. Mindful eating guidance.
  7. Time scheduled with Psychologist (if needed).
  8. Parent/caretaker participation.
  • There may be a reassessment at the last program visit, which may include a comprehensive meeting with the teen, parent/caretaker, Doctor and Dietitian to review the teen’s progress.  At this meeting there may be discussions of available options for additional weight management or support.  Options discussed may include:
  1. Additional nutrition plans, pharmacological intervention as well as surgery options.
  2. Additional intermittent meetings with the weight center team members who specialize in maintenance plans and support.
  3. On line interactive tools which encourage teens to take responsibility for their own health & encourages mindful eating behavior.  Parents can log on and check the teen’s progress too.
  4. Teen weight management forums which allow teenagers to connect with each other on topics like weight loss successes/struggles, nutritional recipes, as well as, general thoughts and feelings.

Net Wellness – Recommended Overall Calorie Intake Table For Teens.

Over the past 35 years, obesity rates have doubled and the average American is 24 lbs heavier today than in 1960.  Childhood obesity rates have tripled since 1980.  More and more adult weight loss centers are including programs for overweight and obese children and teens.  Adding a child or adolescent weight loss program to a medically supervised weight loss center is a progressive, lucrative move.

Manufacturers of nutritional weight loss products are now addressing the need to develop meal plans with kid friendly products that are specifically designed for the needs of overweight children and adolescents.

Find out more about nutritional weight loss products for use in your practice or clinic by downloading our FREE information guide. 

FILL OUT OUR FORM TO DOWNLOAD A FREE INFORMATION SHEET NOW.

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Sources:

Lesley AsendorfHow to Incorporate a Weight Loss Program for Teenagers.