Unexpected weight gain in teenagers might be a warning signal for many things, and should not go unnoticed. Today we’ll discuss about the main causes of this, and how you can help your kid.
There are many causes that lead to weight gain in adolescents, and among them are:
According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, children suffering from depression are more likely to gain weight. Approximately 5% of children have severe depression crises during adolescence.
Changes in appetite and weight are common symptoms of depression. Some manifest through an emotional behavior, while others face an increase in appetite. Restoring the teen’s emotional well-being can help him adjust his weight.
Side effects of medication
According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, some drugs can cause weight gain as a side effect. Antipsychotic drugs are more prone to weight gain. Various contraceptives have also been known to cause weight gain.
Hypothyroidism is a disease that commonly affects middle-aged women, but children and adolescents can also be affected. It occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce adequate amounts of hormones, which affects our metabolism.
Additional symptoms of hypothyroidism include increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, fatigue and dry skin. Teenagers who suffer from hypothyroidism may have growth and development delays.
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Weight gain in teenagers can lead to polycystic ovarian syndrome. It is a condition in which a woman’s body produces excessive amounts of androgenic hormone.
Symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome include excessive hair growth, obesity and painful or irregular menstruation.
How can you help your kid?
For most adolescents, self-motivation is the key to making lifestyle changes. Telling them what they should and shouldn’t do or eat might not always be the best approach. It can also damage their self-esteem, and hurt their perception of body and weight.
Here are some things you can do to help your kid deal with weight problems.
Encourage healthy eating
Get rid of the unhealthy products in your fridge, and make room for healthy ones. Adolescents grow up fast and have an enormous appetite. They will eat whatever they can find.
Make sure there are always plenty of supplies of nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, and yogurt.
Be a role model for them
Teach children about the importance of diet and exercise. Remember that actions speak louder than words. You should lead by example, and not just talk about abstract ideas.
Be open to discuss with your kid about anything, including weight. If he trusts you, he might tell you what frustrates him about his physical appearance. You can then try to have a productive conversation.
Always be at your kid’s disposal to listen, and remember to not give unsolicited advice. You should always do your best to be his best friend.
Do not encourage diets
A teenager should not be on a diet. Adolescents need a broad nutrition to support healthy growth and development. Instead, encourage him to make healthy choices and be physically active.
These simple tips can help your teenager enjoy good health and maintain a weight appropriate to his or her age. Of course, from time to time, you should allow small culinary delights. The most important thing is joining your child in adopting a healthy life.