Summary of Webinar on Optifast for Teens
Teen obesity has tripled in the last 30 years! As obesity climbs many teens are experiencing the complications of diabetes, elevated cholesterol and blood pressure, fatty liver and sleep apnea—all of which are similar weight related problems that obese adults face.
An expert committee on obesity has suggested that meal replacements (like Optifast) can be an effective tool in weight loss for teens. Teens are considered obese when they are at the 95th percentile for weight on CDC height/weight charts. Medically supervised weight loss that encourages a loss of 1-2 lb per week is considered low risk for disrupting normal growth patterns in teens over 16 if they are on a 1200-1500 kcal plan (which could include 3-4 Optifast and one evening meal and snack). A severely obese 16-18 year old might be able to be on full Optifast with medical monitoring.
Daily patterns like time spent in front of a screen (T.V, video games, computer and texting etc), eating habits and activity level should be considered. It is recommended that teens and children spend less than 2 hours in front of a screen each day and physical activity should be at least 1 hour/day. Other expert recommendations are for teens to eat breakfast daily, avoid sugared beverages, snack on more fruits and vegetables, limit meals eaten away from home and prepare meals together as a family 5-6 times per week.