Here’s a tip for obese teenagers: if you lose your extra weight now, you could avoid the risks associated with adult obesity in the future.
A recent article in MedlinePlus says that although many obese children and teens go on to become obese adults (and incur steep risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol), they may have a chance to escape.
“What we found consistently across these cohorts is that childhood overweight or obesity is not an independent risk factor, but that those children who become non-obese or normal weight adults have a similar risk as those kids who maintain normal weight over their whole lives,” says Dr. Olli Raitakari, a professor in cardiovascular medicine.
It’s as though the human body can hit “reset”—so long as obesity ends before an individual becomes an adult.
The study makes a few recommendations to teens (and parents of teens) who want to lose weight in time to escape the risks of adult obesity:
- Stay active. Sports, personal exercise programs, and just active outdoor play help kids and teens burn off calories and make excess pounds disappear.
- Eat the right things. Focus on three things: veggies, fruits, and more of the first two!
- Stay away from the bad. Snacks with a lot of sugar and fat are the enemies of weight loss for teens (and just about everyone, really).
By focusing on the health fundamentals, obese and overweight teens can sidestep a threatening future.