Obesity has been the most common problem which many girls face at an early age these days. Off late, it has taken a toll on the girls between 9 to 14 years of age, as this age is the time for puberty where the hormones play havoc in the body. Puberty is the age from 12 to 14 years when a girl approaches her teenage and experiences her first menses (menarche). The average age of puberty, however, has reduced to 11 years off late, and some may even start experiencing changes in their body before the age of 11. Many changes may occur in a girl’s body during this phase of development, such as an increase in the breast size, development of hair in armpits and private parts, acne, fat deposition in various parts of the body etc. The body tries to cope up with the hormonal ups and downs, and, if the body fails in doing so, it might result in obesity or overweight. However, there are many other factors which might as well contribute to the problem of obesity in the girls at an early age. Apart from the hormonal surge in the body, there are a few predisposing factors which make may cause a weight gain in a girl when she is approaching her teenage.
Genetics have a direct link to obesity. The parents’ genes would decide about their child’s body structure. If both the parents are obese, there are 80% chances that the child will also rapidly gain weight while she is approaching her puberty. Sex hormones have a direct connection with the metabolism of your body. Hence, puberty may set in early in such girls where there is already a strong family history of obesity. This is called precocious puberty. Secondly, the food habits of your child, which she follows before approaching her teenage, also decide her metabolism and her body structure. A sudden increase in weight during the teenage can occur as a result of unhealthy eating. Your child’s lifestyle also plays a major role in deciding her weight in her near future. A sedentary lifestyle too can contribute to the obesity in your child.
Now that your child is gaining weight, it is important to help her cope up with this major change happening in her body. Your angel is now transforming into a woman and she might not be mature enough to handle the changes occurring in her body physically and psychologically. This is a crucial yet a sensitive phase in your child’s life which needs to be handled and nurtured with care. I have some tips for you that will help you support your girl to overcome obesity.
- Be Open For Communication:
I would say that this is the most important thing all mothers and family members should inculcate routinely. Do not shy away from talking on the topic of weight gain, since your daughter might have so many unanswered questions in her mind. She needs someone whom she can completely trust on before communicating about how she feels about her body. Be a friend to her. Initiate conversation casually, if necessary privately. This would open doors to many solutions for managing the weight, thereby develop a confidence in your child. This type of communication will help develop a strong bond between you and your child.
- Stop Comparing:
This is another matter of concern when children are approaching their teenage. Your child’s friends would obviously grow differently than her. Explain this fact to her. Do not compare your child with the look and lifestyle of her friends, as it might develop a sense of low esteem. There is a possibility that she might develop a complex due to the ‘peer pressure’, since she may be concerned with the way she looks. It is important to explain to your child that each child develops differently as no two bodies are the same. Build her self-confidence by making her understand that she unique.
- Seek Medical Help:
There are a few medical conditions that crop up during puberty thereby causing obesity. Endocrinal disorders, such as polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) and underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), are two major conditions that commonly occur during this phase. Obesity is a major symptom found in both the conditions, hence they need to be treated by an expert. Homeopathy effectively treats obesity in such cases by targeting the root cause. There are homeopathic medicines which are known to correct the hormonal axis and correct the metabolism, which happens to be the major culprit in developing obesity. Also, homeopathy individualizes each patient and counsels them accordingly. Homeopathy is the safest and most effective treatment for treating obesity in girls at an early age when diagnosed promptly.
- Dietary & Lifestyle Corrections:
What your child eats in her childhood reflects in her adolescence. Eating essentially nutritious foods in childhood will reduce the risk of obesity in the near future. Processed foods and junk foods will only increase the risk of gaining more weight as puberty commences. An active lifestyle will regulate the hormones as well as metabolism, thereby favoring a smooth puberty.
Following these tips will definitely go a long way in reducing the risk of obesity in the young girls. Homeopathy is an effective and safest treatment, which is the best substitute for hormone therapy in the conventional mode of treatment. So, if your growing daughter is turning obese as she approaches her teenage, count on homeopathy without a second thought to help your child stay fit and fine.
-Written by Dr. Kanchan, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah