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María Sandón, dietician and nutritionist, one day raised with the psychologist Silvia Serrano, who collaborates with her in her consultation, the need for a perfect therapy for the treatment of obesity. Thus, after a few years studying and analyzing the success and failure of the hundreds of treatments that have emerged in recent times, he discovered that one of the best ways is group care because "in this way the little ones can see themselves reflected in others children like them. "
What method is the most indicated to treat obesity in children?
International authorities in the fight against obesity affirm that this medical problem must be treated, and the best results are obtained when the treatment is multidisciplinary, in terms of behavior, physical activity and food. In addition, they ensure that group therapy improves the success of the same in many cases. Therefore, in our practice we treat childhood and adult obesity, using a personalized method for each age.
What does it consist of?
It is a comprehensive method that has already had results, since most of the participating children in Catalonia reduce their body mass, have a better physical perception of their body, a better state of mind, and above all, they have acquired and learned healthy eating habits.
What are the aspects to take into account in this method?
The program is based on three key points that are: exercise, a diet that consists of teaching how to eat well without limiting meals, since limiting them when they are growing is a mistake. On the other hand, there is the psychological effort, it must be taken into account that overweight children tend to have problems with other children that can create the same distortion of their body that happens for example to adolescents, worsening even more the perception they have in themselves.
Do parents take part in this treatment?
Of course, it is a way to invest in your health. In addition, it is also geared towards parents, who are also taught to eat well and healthily, or how important breakfast is, or how to treat and talk to children.
For what ages has it been raised?
Children between 6 and 12 years old who are overweight or obese, who must be taught healthy eating guidelines, as well as explained the importance of exercise, since otherwise they will suffer health problems immediately.
What kinds of diseases can be caused in children by obesity?
Already in adolescence, at least 25 percent of them will show signs of diabetes, high cholesterol or sleep apnea (suffocation). And that poor health will get worse as they become adults, reducing their life expectancy by up to ten years.
How is overweight or obesity diagnosed?
Children are generally referred by the pediatrician or endocrinologist from the hospital. But if not, first, it is checked that their excessive weight is not due to an endocrine pathology and the family is proposed to follow the program. This lasts eleven weeks and, between the activities, includes weekly group therapy of children and parents, separately.
A social or personal problem?
Children can suffer insults at school, which undoubtedly causes low self-esteem, to the point that many suffer from anxiety or even depression. Some have binge-eating episodes, although they do not vomit, which can lead to eating disorders in the future. Therefore, they are helped to understand the problem and develop their skills so that they do not feel like the clumsy of the class. They talk about body image, but above all about health and that they are the ones who have to feel good.
What is the goal of this program?
This program stands out for giving both psychological and nutritional value. After eleven weeks, the level of body mass is reduced. But the objective of these three months is not to lose weight, but to teach healthy eating and lifestyle habits. In fact, the nutritional and diet guidelines are those adjusted to their age, not reduced in calories, since they are in the growth stage. Weight loss comes from applying the correct guidelines and they should always be followed.
How is the performance of the parents in this task?
Doctors advise not to argue with parents and children, if they eat little or a lot. Obviously something is wrong, given their weight gain. But how do you control what you drink outside the home? Baubles or industrial pastries, for example. Specialists indicate that many times parents do not know what their children eat, outside or at home, because sometimes they do not eat or have dinner with them. Boys are not aware of what they are doing wrong. For this reason, it is extremely important that children know how to feed themselves well, without punishing themselves. They must learn what is or is not healthy. Knowing how to be an individual person to say no to eating sweets for the simple fact that your colleagues or friends do.
What is the main cause of obesity, genetics or bad habits?
The main problem is bad habits, but of the whole family, the child focuses on the problem, but really when you see the functioning of that family and you realize that it is a global problem.
Rebeca Sánchez / News from Navarra
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