Lisa Dunning, MFT

Lisa Dunning, Marriage & Family Therapist Article - Whatever You Believe Causes Obesity Children Need Our Help

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Lisa Dunning, Marriage & Family Therapist
Parent / Child Relationship Specialist

Whatever You Believe Causes Obesity Children Need Our Help

Author Of Parenting Book
"Good Parents Bad Parenting"

Good Parents
Bad Parenting

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The obesity problem America faces today is nothing short of tragic, but an obese child may need individual child therapy today!
By Lisa Dunning, MA, MFT

Sixty-five percent of all American adults are overweight and sixteen percent of American children are overweight. Not to minimize the horrible mental and emotional anguish of adults suffering from obesity, but children suffering from obesity and body and mass issues have some distinct disadvantages over adults suffering from obesity. Most adults refrain from making inappropriate remarks to obese adults or children. Children will generally refrain from making inappropriate remarks to obese adults out of respect or fear of repercussions. Remarks to obese adults at work are typically not tolerated and if it is tolerated, obese American adults have legal remedies at their disposal to help deter obesity remarks. Children of obesity do not typically have these luxuries. School administrators or teachers can deter remarks made in the classroom if they are aware of them, but seldom stop remarks about another child's obesity problem made by children outside the classroom. Not to mention the less developed, pardon the pun, "thick skin" of obese children than obese adults. The cruel remarks made by children to other children suffering from obesity are direct, unfiltered and meant to cut to the bone. As a result, the damage done to children suffering from obesity is more severe and has far greater short and long-term psychological damage.

Whatever you believe causes obesity children should not suffer with this condition.

I am sure you are aware of the conflicting studies, news reports and experts proclaiming genes, environmental, socio economic and now the latest lawsuit being filed against fast food restaurants claiming their marketing campaigns play a role as well.  Whatever you believe causes obesity children should not suffer with this condition.  Here are some of the obvious, and some not so obvious, causes of obesity in our children to help gain an understanding of what you can do to help your overweight child or prevent your child from becoming obese. 

Modern Technology effects on obesity in children:

Video games, computers and television are replacing the outside activities that provide adequate exercise to those children who are encouraged to engage in outside activities. Spending more time indoors also allows for greater access to the unhealthy snacks that help contribute to obesity. 

Working mothers effects on obesity in children:

Because of our increasingly competitive economy, parents are finding it difficult to survive on a single income.  More women today are choosing to have children without a husband and the American divorce rate is forcing otherwise stay-at-home mothers to join the work force. As a result, our children's video games, computer, television and food intake are unmonitored which typically leads to a greater consumption of junk food in excessive quantities.

Fast Food Restaurants effects on obesity in children:

With both parents exhausted, few parents have the energy to prepare a healthy, well-balanced meal. The convenience of a drive thru restaurant is understandable under these circumstances. Drive thru is cheap quick and easy, but for a child suffering from obesity, ordering at a drive thru restaurant typically exacerbates the obesity problem by not providing your overweight child with the proper nutrition and daily caloric requirements to help lose or maintain an acceptable body weight.

The physical, psychological and emotional effects of obesity in health of our children.

The lack of physical exercise, lack of supervision and poor eating habits are the major causes of obesity in our children. Some of the effects of obesity in health of our children are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, shortness of breath, and fatigue. The overall mental and emotional effect of obesity on our children results in poor self esteem, depression, poor self-image and social isolation. 

I recommend the following two steps to help your overweight child:

1. Obviously psychological help alone is not the answer. The children suffering from obesity must lose the weight. I recommend seeking the services of a personal fitness trainer and nutritionist in your area to help your child change their eating and fitness habits.

2. I also recommend talking with a child psychotherapist or counselor in your area to correct the negative mental and emotional effects of poor self esteem, depression, poor self-image and social isolation that your child has undoubtedly suffered and has been greatly effected as a result of their obesity.

The obesity and body and mass concerns of your child need to be addressed together.

Immediately take the appropriate steps to give your child the life they deserve, free of ridicule and sadness associated with obesity. If you are an overweight adult with a child suffering from obesity, take the steps for you and a your child. Make a pact to change the negative effects of obesity in health, physically, mentally and emotionally improving your life for the better. The obesity and body and mass concerns of you and your children need to be addressed together. Your influence and support can correct a problem that can have a dramatic effect on your child's life today and in the future.

Any of these articles by Lisa Dunning, Family Therapist may be re-published in hardcopy (magazines, newsletters or newspapers) or electronic format in websites, ezines or electronic newsletters provided the following resource box is included at the end of the article with a link to the URL

Lisa Dunning is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Specializing in Parent/Child Relationship issues, the author of "Good Parents Bad Parenting: How To Parent Together When Your Parenting Styles Are Worlds Apart" and the host of her own radio show, "Life Support". She provides marriage, divorce and parenting phone sessions to clientele across the United States and Canada and provides expert parenting advice to newspaper & magazine columnists.  To learn more about Lisa Dunning visit her website at http://www.LisaDunningMFT.com.

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Copyright 2004, Lisa Dunning, MFT.
(Whatever You Believe Causes Obesity Children Need Our Help)