Teenager’s who were deemed overweight or obese would more than likely be only too aware of the Social and Psychological aspects and not the ramifications of their morbidity rate lowing by their condition and the ensuing health problems in later life. The data and facts above speak for themselves and provision of these to Teenager’s will help them make a learned response.
Provide them the statistics on the growing trend of overweight and obesity within Teenagers show them they are not alone so that they will not feel so isolated, hopefully improving moral and self esteem. Provide them with the facts and figures on morbidity rates, what health issues are going to arise. Make them aware of food and nutrition and educate them on how it can be changed, especially if they have been overweight from childhood whereupon they might not have had any control on what they ate.
Help them understand as individuals the responsibility of food intake and physical activity, showing them that it does not take much effort to become more active and just commence with a walk 20 minutes a day. Make them aware that it is not their fault they are the way they are and it is a trend within society that has brought about the inactivity. However, it must be stressed to them they do have a choice now on how to live their lives. Perceived Severity
One’s opinion of how serious a condition and its consequences are The consequences of the risk of carrying on their current behaviour to their weight and lack of inactivity will result in early Death and the need for Medical Intervention if not already in place. Help them to write down and be aware of their current food consumption. Show them a computerised picture of another youth adding pounds on them over the years and how the ration and control of calorie intake of food and lack of inactivity will just keep adding on the weight putting them at greater risk.. Perceived Benefits
One’s belief in the efficacy of the advised action to reduce risk or seriousness of impact Empower teenagers to make a choice on food intake by supplying them and/or educating them on healthy food types and calorie content in normal foods as well as soft drinks intake and how just a little bit of exercise each day i.e. walking can benefit them and encourage non competitive physical activities. Good nutrition in general can help them not only with the health benefits in the long term but also short term as in the skin’s better, improved energy, improved memory.
Higher self esteem that they will feel when the weight is dropped. There are lots of evidence based schemes about: we are incorporating a questionnaire on food intake and also access to cook books within our leaflet. This alongside a community run effort should help. Overall to encourage an awareness of types of food eating and there calorific content and developing an active lifestyle that can be maintained throughout life. Perceived Barriers
One’s opinion of the tangible and psychological costs of the advised action Initially you would have to determine if the teenager has a pre-disposition to obesity within there family, environment and/or within there genes then this will have many barriers to take into consideration and you would have to consider there environment, culturally and family support as well as the pressures the individual may be facing sociologically:
Does there family eat healthily, if not then there is an even bigger issue on as to whether you can change the diet of all the family members, that also goes for culturally defined foods. Can they afford to eat healthy and cut out cheaper less nutritional foods? Would there family and friends support them.
Does the persons friends eat frequently at fast food places. Are they prepared to opt for say an apple whilst all there mates are eating at a fast food place etc. Do they have available to them on a day to day basis access to a variety of readily available food to consume as in the school they are attending or work place.
When addressing the balance of food and content of food eaten this will have to be treated very carefully and sensitively so as not to undermine them in any way because if they start of with low self esteem it could make them go further in depths of despair. Also consideration has to be taken with reference to the risk of fad and yoyo dieting of which also has its own dangers.
You also have to consider their attitude to there weight and as to whether they have any motivation to take the course of action required as well as an overall mental well being. With the changing views on being overweight these days of it being acceptable it may be very hard to motivate/encourage someone to change when they are ‘ok’ as they are and are they actually prepared or wanting to change. Overall you would be looking into a complete behavioural change of which has a knock on effect of the people around them as well, are they able to communicate this and will they be supported.
There will need to be a lot of collaboration and encouragement given not only on an individual basis but also within the person’s family and peer group and encouragement should be given to these persons to find solutions to any issues that may be raised with special effort given to the teenager’s confidence, choices and capabilities. Cues to Action
Strategies to activate ‘readiness’First and foremost it should be established in a sensitive manner as to whether the individual is overweight or leaning that way or obese of which we have opted for a questionnaire given in a community environment with information on statistics and all the health risks involved.
This will help them to be aware of what food they eat and show them what a healthy eating plan is and give them lots of assortment of information they can access with various information on recipes and food choices, as in booklets and web addresses.
Encourage more activity like walking instead of taking a bus and give them information on all the readily available places in the area that offer an assortment of exercise facilities like swimming pools and keep fit classes. Give them individual based diet and exercise plans that you have worked out together. Encourage them and other persons within their family, peer groups and the community encouraging them to work together and give them a sound basis of support that is readily available to them. Self-Efficacy
Strategies to activate ‘readiness’Informing the individual what is available to them within there own environment. Educate and train them on healthy eating regimes and exercise plans. Encourage choices and let them know that help is readily available for any assistance they feel they may require.