Obesity in Children
Childhood obesity is growing concern at national level, nearly 1 in 3 children (ages 2-19) is overweight or obese, putting them at risk for serious health problems. As parents, caregivers, leaders in schools, communities and healthcare providers we need to work together to create a nation where the healthy choice is the easy choice.
Children have fewer weight-related health and medical problems than adults. However, overweight children are at high risk of becoming overweight adolescents and adults, placing them at risk of developing chronic diseases. A child’s total diet and activity level play an important role in determining a child’s weight. Today, many children spend a lot time being inactive.
To address child obesity is to involve the entire family in healthy habits, but increasing the family’s physical activity is especially important.
Some ways to accomplish this include:
• If your children see that you are physically active and having fun, they are more likely to be active and stay active for the rest of their lives.
• Plan family activities that provide everyone with exercise, like walking, biking, or swimming.
• Be sensitive to your child’s needs. Overweight children may feel uncomfortable about participating in certain activities. It is important to help your child find physical activities that they enjoy and that aren’t embarrassing or too difficult.
• Make an effort to reduce the amount of time you and your family spend in sedentary activities, such as watching TV or playing video games.
• Whatever approach parents choose to take regarding an overweight child, the purpose is not to make physical activity and following a healthy diet a chore, but to make the most of the opportunities you and your family have to be active and healthy.
If you feel your child needs evaluation talk to their Pediatrician, they will determine the body mass index (BMI) to provide more details.