Adolescent and obesity programs are quickly becoming a common fixture of society. While overweight children and teens were once sent off to so-called "fat camps" during the summer to deal with their weight issues, adolescents are now encouraged to approach their problems dynamically.
Obesity among Adolescents
Experts aren't concerned about obesity among adolescents simply because of immediate health concerns. There are long-reaching implications for an adolescent that is obese, including:
- Immediate health issues
- Long-term health issues
- Self esteem issues
- Increased medical costs
Children who can be classified as obese are statistically more likely to be obese in adulthood. This is one of the reasons why it is so vital to treat the obesity problem before entering into adulthood. It is far better to address the problem early on so that it does not remain a trend for the remainder of the adolescent's life. Battling obesity takes more than merely dieting and exercising. There has to be a change in behavior in addition to the other changes, otherwise obesity will be probably become a lifelong condition.
Available Adolescent and Obesity Programs
Plenty of adolescent and obesity programs exist around the country, ranging from expensive in-residence programs to free support groups. The goal of these programs is to assist adolescents in losing weight while also giving them the tools they need to keep the weight off and stay active. Some programs also include comprehensive programs for parents in an attempt to train them how to help their children stay fit and keep the weight off.
Some obesity programs require adolescents to visit an on-site location and reside there for a predetermined period of time. While some programs have relatively short visiting times required - such as over a weekend - other programs require adolescents to remain on campus for weeks or months at a time.
Here is a brief listing of some of the programs offered throughout the country. There are many other available in-residence programs offered, so be sure to conduct a thorough search before signing up for a particular program.
- Camp Shane offers weight loss camps for boys and girls, starting at age 8 and going all the way up to mature adults. They have five locations across the United States.
- Camp Empire Lake is a weight loss camp located on the East Coast. Camp residents receive additional assistance after discharge from the camp in the form of nutritional and exercise advice.
Parents and adolescents must work together to decide if they should utilize an extended in-residence program, or instead consider a summer camp. Whichever option is chosen, it should be viewed as a solution which will be long-term, and not just a one-time event that will result in a huge weight loss without a behavioral change.
Not all obesity programs for adolescents require in-residence stays. Some programs are offered online or through other mediums.
- Teen Central offers support and tips for obese teens.
- ShapeDown is a program for both kids and their parents designed to help kids lose weight and keep it off.
- Many hospitals offer weight management programs for adolescents, sometimes free of charge. Contact your local hospital for available programs.
A visit to the library or bookstore will undoubtedly yield a huge selection of books and other programs to treat childhood obesity.
A Total Change
Obese teens need more than just simple weight loss. Treating obesity isn't simply an act of making teens lose weight, because weight will come back on if the behavior isn't changed.
If your adolescent is obese, make an appointment with your child's pediatrician. A doctor who knows your child's medical history is the best person to help you decide what course of action is appropriate for your teen.