How to Respond to Teen Obesity

Teen obesity, as used here, is a reference to being over 20% above one's ideal weight (click here for a more detailed article on the definition).

In today’s society we see many teenagers who seem to be unfit. The intent of this article is to provide help. Helping Christian teens get fit can be as easy as F.I.T.

F – Face the fact that your body belongs to God. One fact that is help for teen obesity is remembering that the teen’s body is the temple of God.

"Temple of God" is a reference to how passages like I Corinthians 6:19-20 teaches that the body of a believer is likened unto the building that is dedicated to the worship of the Lord.

In a related article (click here for full article) six ideas are given to help us understand this principle. Face it, this is not your body. You are taking care of the King's body.

If teens believe that they are taking care of the King's body it should make teens do a much better job with how they tend to their bodies. Realizing the King has made each of us fearfully and wonderfully (see Ps. 139:14) should help some teens increase their self-esteem.

I – Introduce new ways of eating healthy and still eat the food you love. Another area that is helpful with teen obesity is knowing that fast food and teenagers go together. Think about teenagers hanging out and then going out to eat.

Most teens do not have the type of money to buy nutritional food items, so they buy what they can afford. The issue with fast food is that many items selected by teenagers are loaded with fat , calories, carbs, and sodium.

The good news is that teens can still eat the foods they love (e.g., hamburgers, fries, milkshakes, chicken nuggets, pizza, soda, chips, candy bars, etc.) but in moderation.

If teens practice eating a healthy breakfast (e.g., dairy, protein, fruit, grain, and drink water), it will hold a normal teenager, until they can have lunch.

At lunch, instead of eating pizza every day, have a salad with low-fat dressing, and drink milk or water, instead of soda or a milkshake. Save your fast food dining for the weekend.

After school but before dinner, grab a piece of fruit and drink water. At dinner time, have a moderate portion of your favorite meal. Moderate means two-thirds of the amount you normally eat. Skip dessert during the week. Drink lots of water.

T – Take time to exercise. The final point that will be a helpful with teen obesity is exercising. If teens want to get the help they need to combat or avoid obesity, they must learn to be active.

Examples of exercises that may interest teens are skating, dancing, sports teams, walking through the mall, exercising outside with friends, and bike riding.

Getting active will be a great help with teen obesity. The cell phone, electronic games, television, and crime infested neighborhoods are just a few distractions to teens getting the help they need to conquer their obesity issues.

When teens accept the fact that their body doesn’t belong to them, it’s God’s; learn how to eat healthy and still enjoy some of the foods of their youth; and when teens make time to exercise, they will find themselves getting "F.I.T."

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