What Are the Common Causes of Teenage Obesity?

● Genetic factors

● Lack of physical activity

● Having junk food, aerated drinks and unhealthy eating patterns

● Excessive usage of gadgets thereby avoiding regular physical activities

● Socioeconomic issues

● Metabolism – the way a body turns food into energy

● Staying up late at night and not sleeping enough

● Lack of exposure to sunlight by staying indoors too often

The total diet and activity level of children help in determining their weight.

What Health Risks Are Associated with Teenage Obesity?

● Early menstruation with irregular cycles and PCOD

● Early thyroid disorders

● High cholesterol

● Early high blood pressure

● Early heart disease

● Early diabetes

● Bone problems

● Psychosocial disorders like social isolation and depression

Skin conditions caused due to obesity: Heat rash, fungal infections and acne.

How to Decide if a Child Is Overweight?

● Age-appropriate clothes do not fit

● Laziness and lack of social activity

It is recommended to check it with the nearest physician or nutritionist for the teen’s developmental milestones and Body Mass Index (BMI) of your child.

How Can I Help My Overweight Child? What can parents do?

● Encourage your child to spend quality time with family

● Avoid replacing meals with snacks or noodles

● Avoid buying unhealthy snacks and aerated/canned drinks with a high sugar content

● Allot a minimum gadget/screen time only after letting your child play outside for90–150 minutes

● Parents should also eat healthily and be their child’s role models

● Encourage your kid to participate in activities like swimming and cycling

● Keep a weekly record of the nutritional intake of your child

● Always remember that your child will not overcome obesity quickly – the process is slow and steady

Diet counseling

● Switching to a new diet with balanced calories and nutrition

● Psychological support for changing behavior and encouragement from parents

● Help your child find hobbies involving physical activities that they enjoy

Physical Activity

● Outdoor games

● Involve them in home cleaning activities or minimally taking care of their stuff 

● Have sweet potato before exercise, drink coconut water during sports activity and banana milkshake post activity

● Involve them in yoga/meditation techniques

● Avoid sleeping excessively on weekends 

Foods to include

● Drink more water, fresh juices like sugarcane juice/lemon juice and milkshakes

● Begin your meal with salad and end it with yogurt/buttermilk

● Eat fermented rice, curd rice, and rice soup as they are enriched with vitamin B

● Eat makhana, corn, steamed channa/moong as evening snacks

● Eat dry fruits and millets

● Use natural spices like pepper and green chilly by avoiding packed masala-powders

● Include til/sesame in your diet

● Use of ghee or regional oil while cooking

● Make sure to eat fresh fruits (both seasonal and local) before going to school, after school and post playtime

● Serve at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day

● Chyawanprash with milk in the morning or at bedtime boosts immunity

● Choose eating sweets towards evening

● Eat homemade pickles, homemade snacks without containing preservatives

● Use palm jaggery for making snacks instead of sugar

● Use more kokam/ tamarind in the diet

● Eat soaked almonds in the morning and soaked cashew nuts before going to bed

● Eat chaat in the evenings but never replace it for meals

● Have packaged/junk food only once in a month

● Do not have tea or coffee in the morning


● Breakfast items:

➢ Poha, oats, idli, dosa, paratha, makhana kheer

➢ Milk or eggs

● Vegetables:

➢ Choose seasonal and local vegetables

➢ Eat more vegetables that are more organic

➢ Have plenty of green vegetables

Fish / Meat :

➢ Consume fish and meat four times a week

➢ Avoid eating packed meat

➢ Prefer eating salmon fish, tuna, mackerel, or sardine more. High-mercury fish should be avoided

Milk/ Milk Products:

➢ Drink turmeric milk daily without adding sugar to boost immunity

➢ Drink gulkand milk during summer

➢ Consume homemade/fermented yogurt

➢ Use unsalted butter

● Chutneys:

➢ Coconut, peanut, garlic, tomato and mint chutneys should be eaten

What should kids eat during exams?

➢ Include palak paneer, mangoes and bananas with main meals

➢ Add coconut to your meals, as it is a stress reliever.

Few golden health tips to keep in mind

● Do not skip breakfast and do not drink glucose water instead

● Let parents help the child to pursue new hobbies and talents

● Avoid late-night movie watching and gaming. Avoid using gadgets 30mins prior to sleep.