Group of Innovative Approaches to Obesity in Children and Youth

Obesity can be defined as an uncontrolled increase in fat tissue in the body as a result of the energy intake being more than energy expenditure. There are many causes of obesity, and improper eating habits, inadequate physical activity, exposure to several endocrine-disrupting chemicals are the leading ones.

The primary approach in preventing obesity is to improve nutritional habits, to provide adequate physical activity and to make these habits sustainable. In this context, health screening and periodic hospital visits for early diagnosis and intervention come to the fore. Under the supervision of expert teams, individualized diet applications, exercise programs and behavioral changes related to healthy living should be put into practice with multidisciplinary approach. In addition, there are tendencies such as unhealthy eating behaviors, risk taking and opposing authority, especially in adolescence. Children and youth at risk may need to receive psychotherapy to alter their established basic cognitive schemes and negative thoughts by evaluating in terms of a probable psychological trauma that may constitute a basis for their susceptibility to obesity. After providing this support and achieving success in weight control, studies to increase their psychological resilience and flexibility should be performed for the sustainability of these gains. Medical and surgical interventions within the scope of tertiary protection are not preferred unless it is medically necessary in childhood. For this reason, preventive approaches and rehabilitation constitute the main objective in preventing obesity in children and young people.