Weight Management: Kids, Tips & Bariatric Surgery
In this series:
Healthy Lifestyles for Children
Recent studies have highlighted that obesity rates in adolescents and children have been steadily increasing at rates between one to five percent since 2014. In comparison, hospitalizations for eating disorders in children under the age of 12 increased by 119 percent between 1999 and 2006. While all of these statistics can be disconcerting, they show us that we need to focus on encouraging healthy lifestyles instead of focusing on an ideal weight or image.
The way we talk about weight and body image can have a major impact on the way children and adolescents see themselves. Discussing weight loss can be a trigger for unhealthy thoughts about eating, weight and body image. Instead, be a role model for what healthy, nutritious and well-rounded eating looks like and never promote dieting.
As parents, teachers and healthcare professionals, you can help prevent an eating disorder from developing by emphasizing overall wellness instead of appearances.
If you aren’t sure where to start, Cone Health Nutrition and Diabetes Education Services has an exceptional team of registered dieticians dedicated to educating families on nutrition.
Laura Watson is a registered dietitian with Cone Health Nutrition and Diabetes Education Services in Greensboro.
Top 3 Factors That Affect Your Weight
There are many different things that can affect your weight, including not only what you eat but how you eat. No food is inherently good or bad, but frequency and portion size determine whether it is part of an overall healthy diet.
Three factors that play a major role in weight management that you can modify include:
- Food distribution – Organizing your day into three meals and one or two snacks can help you stay satisfied throughout the day. Don’t go more than five hours without eating and try to eat within an hour of waking up. Maintaining a regular sleep and eat cycle will also help you stay consistent.
- Portion size – Be mindful of the types of food that are on your plate. Aim to eat twice as many vegetables as you do meat or grains. Fruit always makes a good snack!
- Rethink your drink – Liquid calories from sugary drinks don’t satisfy hunger, they just add unnecessary calories to your diet.
Additionally, physical activity, in whatever form you enjoy, is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle and can have long-term benefits.
Cone Health understands the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and has an exceptional team of dietitians, physicians, nurses and other related healthcare providers dedicated to educating our community on healthy lifestyle choices.
Jeannie Sykes, PhD, is a registered dietitian at Cone Health Family Medicine Center and a member of Cone Health Medical Group.
In some cases, weight loss surgery can serve as a tool towards achieving significant, long-term weight loss. The most popular bariatric operation is the “sleeve gastrectomy,” which creates a banana-shaped stomach. Gastric bypass, otherwise known as a Roux-en-Y, is another common surgery that has been offered since 2003. Although the LAP-BAND has decreased in popularity, Cone Health still sees patients that may need adjustments or patients who had theirs placed elsewhere but need follow-up care.
Weight loss surgery involves a major life change, therefore several factors are taken into account when determining eligibility, such as your body mass index (BMI of 40, or 35 with co-morbidities), existing psychological or medical conditions and prior attempts at weight loss. Surgery must be paired with regular exercise and a healthy diet to achieve successful results. This is why dietary counseling, exercise programs and weight loss surgery options are all part of Cone Health’s comprehensive bariatric and wellness services program.
Individuals who are interested in learning more about weight loss surgery and getting started in the process are encouraged to attend one of Cone Health’s bariatric seminars. These seminars are free and provide information about the risks and benefits of weight-loss surgery, the three different procedures offered at Cone Health, surgery costs and a pathway to help guide you through the process to make a lifestyle change. These seminars are now offered online, as well as in person. To register for either seminar, click here. After attending the online or in-person seminar, individuals will be qualified for a preliminary consultation.
Dr. Matthew Martin is a bariatric surgeon in Greensboro and a member of the Cone Health medical staff.