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Raising Fit Kids: Healthy Nurtition, Exercise, and Weight

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Expert Support for Teen Weight Loss

If making lifestyle changes isn't enough to help your teen manage his weight, get some outside help.

When it comes to dealing with obesity in teens, many families get stuck. Talking to someone outside the family can give you perspective and direction -- and help your overweight teen set realistic goals. If you and your teen have gotten into conflicts about her weight, outside advice could help defuse the situation.

You have many options. Start with a pediatrician, a dietitian, nutritionist or another expert on obesity in teens. Seeing a therapist, such as a psychologist or a clinical social worker with a background in teen weight loss, can also help. Many teenagers who are overweight also struggle with depression, so therapy can have additional benefits.

Treatment approaches for obesity in teens differ. Experts disagree to some degree on the best approach. Some stress the importance of monitoring to track progress. Strategies include regular weigh-ins and keeping track of food and exercise. Others think that close accounting doesn't work. Ultimately, you have to decide what approach feels right for your family. Your teen may benefit most from programs that are geared to kids his or her age.

Teen Weight Loss: Weight Management Programs

Check to see if your medical insurance plan will help cover the costs of weight management programs that include.

Weight loss programs for teens right in your pediatrician's office. Some health care providers may have programs that include sessions with dietitians or behavior experts.

Pediatric weight management centers in a hospital or separate center. These may be similar to programs in medical offices and offer the support of several experts.

Immersion camps or schools for teens. These programs are not like traditional "fat camps." They're intended to change a child's behavior as much as help him lose weight. While many kids lose weight at fat camps -- because of a low-calorie diet and increased physical activity -- they tend to gain it back afterward. Immersion programs help kids learn ways to eat healthier and to exercise that they can apply when they get home and back to their "real lives." While joining one of these programs might be a tough decision for you and your teen, it could really help in the long run.


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