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The treatment of childhood obesity It is not an easy task, neither for the doctors, nor for the family, nor for the children since nowadays the treatment is based on the modification of the lifestyles, which implies in the alteration of their eating and physical habits .
The older the child, the more difficult it will be to make these changes, but not impossible. In the latest research on childhood overweight, among other things, it was found that 8% of Spanish children go to school without having had breakfast.
The method used to treat childhood obesity is fundamentally based on the combination of a limited diet with increased physical activity, nutritional education and behavior change. But all this will only be effective if the child has the support and encouragement of his family. The child's behavior therapy begins with learning self-control.
For the diet to take effect It is necessary for the child to receive stimulation and social reinforcement, through positive messages, so that he can improve his self-esteem and feel more self-confident. In other words, the initial work is based especially on fighting anxiety and depression, feelings that can cause a child's weight gain.
It is important to know the eating and behavioral habits of the child and the family. Know what they eat, the intervals from one meal to another, the exercise they do, as well as their habits regarding leisure. From that, it is possible to better detect what causes obesity in the child. Changing habits through behavioral therapy is an essential component in the treatment of the overweight child.
When the child is under 5 years of age, it is the parents who must lead the treatment, that is, answer for the child everything that interests the therapy. From 5 to 9 years, children will have more autonomy in the treatment, although it requires the vigilance and responsibility of the parents. It is only after 9 or 10 years that the child will have a greater degree of responsibility and will be able to respond with almost total freedom to treatment.
Physical activities must be applied in parallel with the diet. Initially, a more attractive activity will be sought and one that is more in accordance with the interests and possibilities of the child. It will begin with gentle movements that the child gradually adjusts to. If a strong exercise is requested at first, the child may become frightened, tired, and eventually reject it.
The exercise should be gentle at first, but developed continuously, daily, and be fun and interesting. And it is important that the child practice it and share it with 2 or 3 other people, at most.
- At the same time that a physical activity is introduced to the child's life, the time that he spends on television or other sedentary activities should be reduced.
- It has been shown that the use of drugs in the treatment of childhood obesity is not entirely effective.
- The sooner the problem of overweight is detected in the child and treated, the better the result will be.
- Treatment will only be effective if the child has the support and encouragement of his family
- It is easier to change the behavior of children than of their parents, although if they succeed it can favor everyone.
- Treatment is not processed in the same way for all children. The character, disposition, interests and possibilities of each child must be considered. Each child is a different world and they must be treated in the same way
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