Most diets are not recommended for anyone under the age of 18. The reason for this is that the teen body is continuing to grow and their bodies need all the nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, iron, folic acid, and calcium. If teens participate in fad diets where they starve themselves or cut out foods that their bodies need for growth, problems in the future can ensue. Studies have shown that this can lead to lower bone density and weaker adult bones can mean the increased propensity to break easily. Most diets do not have enough folic acid or iron supplements either which can lead to problems with anemia as well as the lowered immune system, so they are prone to succumb to bacterial or viral infections.
Teenagers can lose weight if they do it sensibly. It is best to find out what the daily requirements are for a teen’s diet. It may be best to consult a physician or registered dietician to see what is absolutely necessary for their diet. Then they know what they can decrease or leave alone in order to get some weight off.
A regular exercise program can do wonders for both children and teens who need to lose weight or get in shape. Recommendations are that children and teens get at least 30 minutes of some type of cardio work out such as walking or running on the treadmill, swimming, playing sports, or skating. This can increase the metabolism greatly so the teen is able to burn off the extra calories that the body does not need for nutrition.
The second thing that can be done is to cut down greatly on the junk food and processed food such as potato chips, candy, and other snack type foods that are high in fats but low in nutritional value. The next thing is to either cut out all together sodas or switch to diet sodas. One 12 ounce can of soda has approximately 150 calories. These are empty calories. They only provide sugar which the body normally does not need if someone is eating well. If a teen drinks 3-4 sodas a day, removing them from the diet would be the equivalent of removing the calories of a decent sized meal for an adult that is healthy.
One way adults can help their children and teens to get more exercise or activity is to have a family activity that they can do together. Take walks 3 times a week or go swimming together. Go to the baseball field and have some batting practice while the other family members field the balls. Any type of activity outdoors helps to get the teens away from the television, computer, and video games. Our children are becoming couch potatoes very quickly and our society needs to nip this behavior in the bud. If everyone did some type of activity for 30 minutes three times a week, we would see a great reduction in the numbers of obese adults in the next five to ten years.
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