Tackling Obesity as a parent

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Most parents go into denial and have a hard time accepting the fact that their child is a victim of a lifestyle disorder. Early recognition and acceptance of any problem is the first step to finding a solution. How to deal with the weight situation once an acceptance has arrived among the family? 

 Talk to the expert:

In this case, we mean your pediatrician. If you find that your child’s waist line is increasing or flabs are getting noticed, make an appointment with your child’s doctor at once. Discuss your child’s issues and find out if your child is overweight or obese. After the assessment, plan out with your doctor as to how to work through this.Get your myths and facts cleared before you begin to plan out a weight loss programme.

Family support:

Even the toughest of situations can be dealt with if you have family by your side. Your child is the most precious being in your lives. Don’t consider obesity as a part of parental neglect or poor upbringing. Communicate with your spouse about the issues addressed by your doctor regarding your child’s health. Consider this as a challenge for your child’s future and work together in order to help your child grow better.

Communicate with your child:

Teenagers and adolescents find it hard to accept that their physical appearance is not in par with their peers. Confronting to a son or daughter that he/she is obese can be very daunting for every parent. However it is important that you have a talk with your child about the same and in a manner without hurting their feelings. Make your kids aware about what is causing the problem and how it will affect them in the long run if they don’t act. Also be careful talking about the choice of foods and the quantity consumed; as this in turn can cause a certain disgust for food in some teens leading to eating disorders in later life. Give them options that suit their interest and take them into confidence; taking up a football sport instead of playing video games for example. Make them aware that you are there to help them through this and develop a positive attitude towards handling the weight issue.

Plan out and make goals:

Enlist all the risk factors specific to your child which are responsible for obesity. From the information collected and discussed, plan out a healthy diet and regime and follow it strictly. Don’t make unrealistic plans which will only be broken or long forgotten. Also don’t be too harsh on your children and cut their foods off completely. Obesity does not immediately mean strict weight loss! You can set short term goals and also use positive reinforcements to reward your child once they have achieved them. Discuss with your family about the amount of time you will be able to put in for shaping your child’s healthy future. Make a separate diet chart for your family as well as your child and follow it together. This will make it more interesting and won’t make your children feel left out.

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