As young as 2 years old children are suffering from severe cases of obesity in the United States of America. Childhood obesity is a serious health concern that is rapidly cropping up in this powerful nation. The prevalence of childhood obesity was recorded at an all-time high at 19.3%, between the years 2017 to 2018. This percentage roughly amounts to about 14.4 million obese children and adolescents who were affected by this problem in those two years alone.
With such big numbers, there is an obvious need for good obesity treatment options to help the parents in controlling the weight of their children before the situation gets any worse. Before we delve any further into the obesity treatment options, let’s first address what childhood obesity exactly is.
Childhood Obesity is classified as a complex medical issue where the child in question is way above the normal weight range for a child of that age or height. This extreme weight gain is caused by a number of reasons including
In addition to these two factors, the community or the company of the child also plays a huge role in inculcating the right eating habits early on during the formative years.
It is with the help of a metric tool that measures the BMI or Body Mass Index of the child that the doctor is able to find out if the child is obese or not. When the BMI for the age of the child crosses the red mark, it becomes a huge problem that the patients need to worry about. Let us then cover the treatment options for children suffering from obesity.
Treating obesity in children is not easy. Children are picky eaters and they are quite vocal about what they want to eat and what they don’t. You cannot really force-feed them anything because these little humans have an iron will. However, something has to be done to help them out to lose the excess weight they’ve gained. Let us go through these treatment options below.
As the name itself suggests, the first method of obesity treatment is via a Parent Only Treatment. This treatment method involves both the parents and the children and is considered to be the best for children who are on the younger side of the age scale. PO treatment particularly focuses on:
Parents are the child’s first best friends and they also understand their needs and desires the most, which is why the success rate of this treatment option is actually commendable. So it is advisable for people who are looking for easy and cost-effective ways to adopt this obesity treatment option.
It is as per a study that was conducted in the year 2015, that talked about the multidisciplinary approach for the treatment of childhood obesity. This was an interesting take on the subject, as it focused not just on the dietary side of things but others as well. It covered physical, mental and psychological aspects that could have an influence on the child having a greater body weight.
Since obesity is to do with the rise in the body weight of the child, it is obvious that the doctor will also prescribe certain medications to aid people in the weight loss process. It is not obvious that a medicine will be prescribed but it does happen in specific cases where the child is undergoing a weight loss program to shed all the excess weight.
Medicines aren’t generally quite advisable for children to consume even when they are suffering from obesity. This is because the long-term effects of these weight loss supplementary medicines or appetite suppressants aren’t yet established as healthy or something that definitely works.
In extreme cases where nothing else works, surgery is considered to be the one childhood obesity treatment that becomes the only hope to cling to. Weight loss surgery is usually performed on children who are older and not young so they often fall in the age bracket of adolescents. Surgery isn’t something super common and is only performed when all other methods are exhausted.
If switching to a different diet isn’t working and if the physical exercises also have no effect, then only should surgery be considered a viable option. If the surgery is complete and the child has lost all the excess weight, there is no denying the importance of maintaining that healthy weight. So diet and exercise with of course clean eating remain undefeatable practices.
We’ve covered all the important childhood obesity treatment options that exist but there are other things that a parent, from the very beginning, should always keep in mind to avoid such drastic measures altogether. These things are:
These practices are something that should be adopted in every home. Children are our future so we need to nurture them and care for their well-being at all times without fail.