This podcast series, Cconnect the dots, is about awareness and trying to find out why teens eat too much in the first place.
We find that there are three main reasons, or triggers, that cause teens to overeat. Remember, overeating is just one of the escape or safety valves teenagers can turn to.
In today’s podcast, we’re going to look at the first trigger and that is body image / self-esteem and the influence of social media.
We have to be very real about what happens to our young people and how challenging the environment they are growing up in is.
Teenagers grow up in a world of social media and can only see one world. Parents grew up in this super networked world, always on top of the world so that they can see two worlds. Parents can call this the online world or the internet world, but for the teenagers it is just the world.
Body image has a huge impact on your people’s lives. This manifests itself in two ways: how you see yourself and what you think of yourself when you see yourself in your world.
You’re not alone.
The culture teenagers grow up in is pressurized and instantaneous. Pretty much anything you see can get her hands on them pretty quickly. Associated with this is a strong competitiveness – FOMO.
Parents added this by mistake. If you’re like me, you’re from a generation that grew up knowing what it was like to have to do without it. Of course we want the best for our children – there is real kindness and friendliness behind it, but this increases the pressure.
Also, we mistakenly thought that body image was an exclusively female issue, but now it’s very different and body image is an important issue for boys. The pressure of what they look, or should look like, is incredibly difficult to handle and manipulate.
As parents, we don’t have to manage or criticize this culture, but understand it.
“Culture” is used to encapsulate the world of the adolescent. Your world. Culture is always going on today, there is no downtime. From a generational perspective, say 30 years ago, it took a lot of effort (that is, getting off your bum) to find information on a particular subject, be it in the library, newsagents, or a book or magazine borrow a friend.
Today, that search and discovery cycle is shortened to an on-demand model with an oversupply of near-perfect bodies and superstar lives.
Cell phone use is not a problem for young people, it is a household problem. There are different levels of addiction, but at one basic level, many teenagers are addicted to their phones. In most cases, prolonged absence from the phone means that you can no longer think clearly other than to get the device back.
As parents, we have to set an example here. So the big question for parents – when and how often do you use your cell phone at home in front of the family?
You’re not alone.
This leads to the concept of the numbing effect. The numbing effect originally came from television. They just signed out or got involved in something that was being shown on TV, which resulted in a numbing effect. Remember that 30/40 years ago many households had a TV with only 1 or 2 channels.
With cell phones, however, the numbing effect affects the central nervous system. This is due to the backlight of the mobile device or tablet device screen. This backlight leads to an overproduction of cortisone, which leads to an increased level of stress. Our serotonin levels also drop and to counteract the stress and lowered serotonin levels, we look for ways of least resistance, which leads to coping strategies, and one of them is …… ..food.
This is a problem for young people. As mentioned earlier, the adolescent brain is still developing and lacking the ability to rationalize what is happening. Your reaction is purely emotional. This reaction is right and right, given what we know, and needs to be understood by both parents and young people. Therefore, an understanding of the cell phone problem in both parents and adolescents will help identify and understand why adolescents overeat.
I already told you that you will continue to develop your central nervous system by the age of 25 (and in some cases beyond). The rational part of the brain evolves slowly – that’s the human biology at play.
Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the rational part of the brain. This is the part of the brain that responds to situations with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences. Adolescents process information with the amygdala. This is the emotional part.
As I close and I hope you take this into account, the Connect the dots Refrain:
You’re not alone.
It is so important to remind both parents and adolescents that your journey will be shared by many other families – both motivation and zest for life are here to support and support you.