Many teens struggle with obesity and eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia and binge eating. It is often a double edged sword because of the depression they must also face along with it. With unrealistic images of beauty rampant in popular culture, teens, especially (but not exclusively) girls, are subject to low self esteem, to having negative body images and to having a feeling of inferiority among their peers.
The flipside of this ugly trend is the obesity epidemic that is sweeping the nation. The lack of nutritional options available to teens in the normal course of daily lives (at school, on the road or in the home), the prohibitively higher cost of quality food at supermarkets, and parenting methods that include over gratification, have all helped to fuel this epidemic. What’s more, many kids in troubled homes have grown up looking to food for comfort, which leads to binge eating, a habit that is extremely difficult to break even in adulthood.
These disorders are incredibly damaging to the health of teens. Organs such as the stomach lining and esophagus can become ulcerated by repeated, forced vomiting. Teens who suffer from obesity have their life expectancy lowered and are subject to a host of diseases we previously saw only in adulthood, such as diabetes, hypertension and high blood pressure. Obesity and very low body weight are particularly hard on reproductive systems and the organs that regulate hormones, such as the pancreas and the thyroid. This can lead to eventual infertility and other related problems, such as goiter.
Here at Eagle Ranch Academy, we offer a controlled, caring environment that will nurse your teen struggling with either obesity or an eating disorder back to health. Our intake process includes a thorough medical evaluation, including a physical exam, a psychological exam, a dental exam and slew of appropriate lab work. These different evaluations will give us the tools we need to create an individual approach to caring for your child. We’ll know exactly what state of health they are in, and thanks to the labs, what they are at risk for. Labs can show us if your child’s hormones are balanced, giving us a snapshot of pancreatic, thyroid and reproductive health, what stage of malnutrition they are facing, so we can adjust our menu accordingly, if they are approaching dangerous levels of toxicity, such as high bad cholesterol or high blood sugar, and much more.
Our food is prepared fresh daily based on a menu developed by a certified nutritionist. Eagle Ranch Academy is also an actual ranch; so much of your child’s day will involve doing physical chores on the ranch and in the community. We have a state of the art fitness center where classes are run by a licensed fitness trainer.
However, we also go farther by not only bringing your child back to a state of physical health, but by getting them to a healthy mental, psychological and emotional state, so that they will have continued success after they graduate from ERA. This includes regular sessions of individual and group therapy, going through our Emotional Growth Seminars and our Life Coaching Skills program. We want teens struggling with obesity and eating disorders to address the root causes of their disorder, and become reeducated about what a healthy body is, and the proper place of food in their lives. We want them to know how to deal with their emotional issues without relating it to food.
Eagle Ranch Academy provides not only fitness and nutrition support for teens struggling with obesity and eating disorders; we also provide mental and emotional support.
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