The American Academy of Pediatrics offered a new guideline on how to prevent eating disorders and obesity in teenagers.
The scientific evidence shows that parents and physicians can fight the issues present on both ends of eating disorders by focusing on a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
The guidelines are meant as a reaction to the growing use of unhealthy methods of getting slim. The teenagers that use this type of losing weight methods are seldom identified with eating disorders, mostly because they are not that this.
On the other hand, a rapid and massive weight loss can trigger an unstable heart rate and other medical conditions that are associated with anorexia.
One of the lead authors of the guideline explains that this category of patients is gets overlooked by the physicians. The need to lose weight, even if necessary, may lead to other medical conditions.
Almost 40% of the patients that now have eating disorders have started with losing weight in an improper manner.
The new guidelines will help teenagers to avoid eating disorders and obesity, and they will apply to all teens.
The first recommendation is to avoid behaviors like commenting on the weight of adolescents, teasing or encouraging any type of dieting.
A second part of the guide includes recommendations directed towards on practices that should be promoted inside the family. One of them is for the family to eat together regular meals. Another is for parents to encourage their children to exercise for fitness and to eat a balanced diet, which would help them form a healthy body image.
The statistics say that teens that start a diet in the ninth grade are up to three times more likely to be overweight by the 12th grade.
For example, the diets that include calorie-counting can make teenagers stop getting the necessary energy for them to grow up. The energy deprivation can lead to symptoms of anorexia nervosa. Even if they successfully lost the extra weight, they end up not being healthy.
On the other hand, family meals can also protect against weight problems. The authors believe that the explanation is the fact that children can see their parents while modeling healthy eating. The recommendation is to have family meals as often as possible.
While the childhood obesity rates have dropped, the adolescent obesity rates have not. It is critical to maintain a healthy weight without exposing teens to other health issues. A child may not be as self-conscious of its weight as a teenager, who has the means to take up unhealthy diets and get into serious medical conditions.
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