Pediatric Weight Loss
Children and weight loss are not words that generally go together, but with an estimated thirteen million American adolescents and children experiencing childhood obesity, pediatric weight loss is an important topic. It is not uncommon for children to rise early, spend the day at daycare or school, and spend the evening racing through a drive through restaurant and then from one extracurricular event to another. Many of us come to accept all this fast-paced living as simply a way of life, but in reality, it could be contributing to childhood obesity.
Parents and caregivers who want to learn more about pediatric weight loss may find it helpful to make an appointment at an urgent care clinic. These medical professionals can address obesity issues that may exist with compassion and knowledge to put adults and children instantly at ease.
Childhood Obesity in America
According to the National Center for Health Statistics in 2017, the overall trend of childhood obesity during the previous twenty years was an increasing one. A big part of knowing how to treat this growing epidemic comes from understanding how we got here.
While there are some internal influences that can affect pediatric weight loss, many of them can be external. The most common factors that can contribute to childhood obesity usually include:
Pediatric Weight Loss Begins with Making Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Most external factors that affect obesity may be mitigated by taking simple yet purposeful steps towards living a healthier life. Making these gradual changes often makes them sustainable so that over the years they will come to have a long-term impact.
One of the most significant areas that can impact change is the modification of eating behaviors. By focusing on a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, eating primarily whole foods, and avoiding highly processed foods, a healthier lifestyle is well within reach. When it comes to eating healthy, focusing on food is key, but minimizing if not eliminating drinks that are high in sugar can also help immensely.
Children who participate in thirty minutes to an hour of physical activity a day can burn a significant amount of calories while experiencing great cardiovascular and muscular benefits. Even time spent in a daily physical education class helps. Older children may choose to do organized physical activities such as sports, dance, or gymnastics while others may choose individualized activities such as running.
When it comes to pediatric weight loss, a lack of sleep can be a sneaky contributor to weight gain. Parents and caregivers should work with a healthcare professional to learn how many hours of sleep children require at each age. Young children often still need naps that older kids have long outgrown, but it is vital that both age groups and every age in between get a sufficient amount of uninterrupted, quality rest each night.
Childhood trauma can be another source of weight gain. Anything from the loss of a parent to a sick loved one can affect children. Just as many adults handle trauma in the same way, some children may also begin to cope with a traumatic situation by finding a sense of relief in comfort food.
How Urgent Care May Be Able to Help with Pediatric Weight Loss
It may be wise to enlist the help of a local urgent care to help answer your questions regarding children and weight loss. These medical professionals spend years of school to learn how to handle traumatic situations with a cool head and a heart for compassion.
An urgent care should be a safe space for you and your child where judgements and preconceived notions of weight gain are checked at the door. The focus here is to help children learn that while their weight does not define them, they are free to express any weight-related frustrations and concerns.
One way an urgent care can assist parents and caregivers is by educating them on the importance of cooking at home. When done correctly, this important lifestyle change can help reduce sodium, fat, and empty calorie intake. Doctors and nurse practitioners can then sit down with the family to work together to create an individually designed menu plan to help cut down on time consuming guesswork.
In addition to modifying eating behaviors, urgent care medical professionals typically also put a focus on creating good physical activity habits. They will work hand in hand with families to determine a reasonable exercise routine that is sustainable.
Advantage of Working with Urgent Care
While some might not immediately consider urgent care for concerns like pediatric weight loss, there are many advantages to seeking medical counsel here, including:
- No appointments necessary. While some urgent care facilities will accept appointments, most save much of their time for walk-ins. This allows patients a greater degree of flexibility than some doctor’s offices that tolerate appointments only.
- Extended hours. One of the most attractive features of healthcare at urgent care facilities is their extended hours. Many clinics keep their doors open from midmorning until midevening, several hours after most doctor’s offices have closed their doors. In addition, some clinics also offer limited weekend hours. These extended hours can make all the difference when it comes to finding time to balance work and health.
Pediatric weight loss is a serious issue that deserves the attention of qualified urgent care personnel. Ultimately, the urgent care you choose should know and practice the importance of treating the whole child with great compassion and understanding.