Childhood Obesity

<!--[if !IE]>--> <!--<![endif]-->

<!--[if !IE]>-->

Image Caption : See why we're experiencing an epidemic of childhood obesity-and how you can help your child to get fit and stay healthy. Hear experts talk about why weight management for children is all about health, not about appearance. In 95% of all cases, child obesity isn't due to glandular problems or genes. It's environmental: kids are eating more food-much of it unhealthy-and moving less. But there's good news. For kids, small changes, like getting outside more and substituting healthy for unhealthy snacks, can make a big difference. Kids bounce back better than adults because they usually don't yet have chronic health problems. See why eating breakfast is so important, for health and for better grades in school. Learn why making meals together at home is better for them and for the whole family.

Obesity in Children

Obesity means having too much body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. Both terms mean that a person's weight is greater than what's considered healthy for his or her height. Children grow at different rates, so it isn't always easy to know when a child is obese or overweight. Ask your health care provider to check whether your child's weight and height are in a healthy range.

If a weight-loss program is necessary, involve the whole family in healthy habits so your child doesn't feel singled out. Encourage healthy eating by

  • Serving more fruits and vegetables
  • Buying fewer soft drinks and high-fat, high-calorie snack foods
  • Making sure your child eats breakfast every day
  • Eating fast food less often
  • Not using food as a reward

Physical activity is also very important. Kids need about 60 minutes each day. It does not have to happen all at once. Several short periods of activity during the day are just as good.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Consult a licensed medical professional for the diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions and before starting a new diet or exercise program. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.