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Obesity In Teenager


Note from Dr. Dan

It's a good time for you to start thinking about your weight. It's easier for young people to lose weight than it is for older people, so time is on your side.

You say you are 14 years old. You may have reached your full height. If not then you will get thinner just by staying the same weight as you grow taller.

In fact, for kids who are still growing it is best to work on maintaining the same weight rather than losing. It is easier and healthier.

But if you've reached your full adult height then you will need to take off a few kilograms. How?

The first thing to think about is your activity. If you're like most young people today you don't get enough activity. This is partly do to fears about the world being a dangerous place.

It's actually not as dangerous as the news makes it appear, at least not in most places. In the United States, for instance, the environment for a child is probably safer than at any time in the history of the world.

But people just don't let their kids spend time outdoors anymore, and the result is they don't use their muscles enough. And when you don't use your muscles you get sluggish and gain too much fat. In the long run it will make you sick.

The other thing is overuse of screens of all sorts -- TV screens, computer screens, iPads, and telephones that are just mini computers. Instead of actually moving and doing things most young people sit for hours each day looking at screens. It's not healthy.

The next thing to think about is the modern diet. A generation or two ago kids drank milk and ate meat and potatoes and not very many were overweight.

Now kids drink soda and too much juice. They eat chips and cookies. And they eat far too much greasy drive-through food. Cheeseburgers and fries and milk shakes and Coke are guaranteed to make you fat, and in the long run your health will suffer.

There's more information about teenage weight loss at this link.

Good luck to you.

Dr. Dan

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