There is over a ton of research regarding psychological reasons why kids become obese. One behavior area that you can control is environment. Read on to learn simple methods to prevent teenage obesity.

In one experiment, behavior scientists observed an over-weight family at home. While the food was relatively healthy, the volume was not. Without dealing with the over-weight children, the behaviorists asked the parents to set their knives and forks down after each mouth full. By doing this at every family meal, the children began to imitate the parents and slow down their own eating. After several months, the children reduced their weight without any other change in their habits. No extra exercise. No special diets.

The other environment scenario that I have studied has been with the military. When we trained recruits in the army reserve, there was not much time to eat, let alone go to a fast food joint. One recruit was so heavy that he required a boost to the top bunk at night. After six weeks of morning runs and restricted food intake, he reduced his weight by 20 pounds (and could climb onto the top bunk by himself). I saw him a year later, working at a clothing store. He was finishing school, playing rugby and soon to travel to Britain.

The other environment method has been special schools for obese teens. Costing over $ 5,000 a month, these special schools basically keep the teens away from computers, cell phones, video games and junk food. Instead, the teens are given physical activities, good food and regular sleeping hours.

In yet another situation, I once ran a martial arts summer school. Most of the kids who were fit had pretty good bag lunches. The one over-weight boy always had a bag lunch full of pop and junk. During a break, he would buy and gobble down a couple of chocolate bars. True enough, this was habit, but when we started having our lunches in the park, he was restricted to the amount of junk food that he bought.

This is not to say that a boot camp or “fat farm” will cure obesity. People will often revert back to their old habits after doing their time anywhere. Yet, sometime getting to a fitter stage can get them out of their rut. You can help a teen in small ways every day just by changing their environment. This can be restricting computer, video game and / or television time to 30 minutes a day. Also, clean out the refrigerator of junk food. As a family, you can enjoy a junk food night once or twice a week and save the weekends for a movie night. It is the small changes that cause long lasting results.


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