Puberty is defined as period of physical and sexual maturity. In simple words, it is the phase during which a boy or a girl matures becomes capable of reproducing . In girls, puberty starts between the age of 10 to 14 years whereas for boys it is somewhere between the age groups 12 to 16 years.
Changes At Puberty
Puberty brings with it different biochemical and physical changes termed as Secondary Sexual Characteristics. Growth spurt is a part of puberty during which the hormonal changes bring about faster than usual growth. The growth is mostly confined to height but there may be changes related to the lean body mass and weight leading to overall changes of physique.
Hormonal changes bring about the puberty related changes which are controlled by the pituitary gland in the brain. Depending on whether you’re a boy or a girl, these hormones go to work on different parts of the body, bringing the process of physical and sexual maturation in humans.
Weight Issues During Puberty
Puberty is associated with weight gain as it is the period of rapid growth of human body. A teenager is expected to gain 10 to 15 lbs during the pubertal years and within this range the weight gain is considered to be normal. The weight gain is mostly caused by the action of sex hormones on the body of respective genders. For females, the estrogen works on deposition of fat around the thighs, buttocks, arms and breasts. Whereas for the males, testosterone is the sex hormones and works by increasing the lean body muscle mass, hence giving them a broader appearance. Weight gain and obesity related issues during puberty are more seen in girls. This is because of the increased fat deposition by estrogen. Moreover some people, especially girls tend to face hormonal imbalance in the early years of puberty leading weight gain.
Excessive weight gain and obesity is considered as a danger to health at any phase of life including “Puberty”. Not only it does it bring up psychological and body image issues in teenagers but also puts them to health risks. These risks include diseases like Diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, orthopedic issues etc. Moreover it may cause further hormonal imbalances leading to acne eruptions, baldness and hirsutism.
Tips To Control
During puberty, a teenager may require extra amount of calories for the process of growth to continue appropriately. This can further lead to obesity and weight gain. It is important to consume normal Calories as they are important for the growth spurt. The best way to avoid excessive weight gain during puberty is by increasing physical training and activity. Regular exercise surely helps in maintaining weight and may prevent obesity. Participating in sports and other forms of games may help with weight issues. It can also boast up self-esteem and helps with overcoming the body image issues. Choice of food is a very good method of controlling weight gain and obesity. Selecting foods rich in fiber and vitamins like green vegetables, fruits like apples, oranges and pears, bran breads, lean meat, fish and eggs are a better option. It is best to avoid junk foods like cookies, potato chips, fried food, foods with high sugar. Hence puberty is a natural phenomenon and weight gain is a part of puberty. Some measures can help you to have healthy weight gain and prevent obesity during these years.