This might lead some teens to underestimate the need for healthier diets and exercise, researchers warn. But they say there is some good news – most normal-weight teenagers recognised their weight was fine.
The study, funded by the charity Cancer Research UK, appears in the International Journal of Obesity.
According to the BBC, scientists have speculated that the rising levels of obesity across the population might have ‘normalised’ the idea of being overweight or obese, making it harder to recognise the extra pounds.
Others argue that a constant barrage of media and cultural messages encouraging people to be thin might lead some to overestimate their weight.
To see how this might affect teenagers, the researchers looked at nearly 5,000 adolescents aged between 13 and 15, using data collected from the Health Survey for England spanning 2005-2012, in which teenagers were asked if they are about the right weight, too heavy or too light, in relation to their age, height and weight.
Eight out of 10 teenagers of normal weight according to the BMI measure identified themselves as about the right weight. But there were differences between sexes, with normal-weight girls more likely to consider themselves as too heavy.
And in adolescents whose weight put them in the overweight category, 39% said they were about the right weight.
Professor Jane Wardle, from the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre at University College London, told the BBC: “This study was a cause for celebration and concern. Young people who think they’re overweight when they’re not can sometimes develop devastating eating disorders, so we’re delighted that most of the normal-weight teenagers had a realistic view of their body size.
“But we need to find effective ways of helping too-heavy teenagers slim down and maintain a healthier weight, and it is vitally important that we find out whether it helps if they are more aware of their weight status.”
Managing weight loss is one of the most effective results of hypnotherapy and the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) holds one of the largest registers of independent hypnotherapists in the UK, all trained to the highest standards in dealing with many issues, including weight management.
As well as stopping compulsive eating, hypnosis can also help the client reduce portion sizes so they lose weight healthily, steadily and for the long term. Losing weight with hypnosis is essentially about teaching the client to feel good about themselves, irrespective of their size.
Rather than just reducing calories that the client is likely to put on again in the longer term, hypnosis gets the client in touch with the reasons why they unconsciously eat. The hypnotherapist can help the client understand why and help them create new healthy self-management techniques.
The hypnotherapy[y treatment focuses on making healthy changes to the diet and lifestyle that will remain for the rest of your life. But it cannot happen in just one session. Hypnosis for weight loss is about changing lifelong negative habits around food and body image; the best results are often when committing to a programme of treatment.
According to the Telegraph, a 20-year study by Kings College in London shows that in the decade up to 2004, the prevalence of children who are overweight and obese increased by an average of more than 8 per cent a year.
And another BBC report points out that researchers, writing in the British Journal of General Practice, said obesity had become the new normal in society. Experts said the study showed the ’enormity’ of the obesity epidemic.
If your child is overweight, contact a hypnotherapist near you by using the NCH directory (click here). It can work wonders in your child’s life and give them a healthier future.