Ideas to Help Children and Maintain a Healthy Weight

You’ve probably read about it in newspapers and seen it on the news: in the United States, the number of children with obesity has continued to rise over the past two decades. You may wonder: Why are doctors and scientists troubled by this trend? And as parents or other concerned adults, you may ask: What steps can we take to prevent obesity in our children? This page provides answers to some of the questions you may have, as well as resources to help you keep your family healthy.

Why is Childhood Obesity Considered a Health Problem?

  • Children with obesity can be bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers. They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem. The effects of this can last into adulthood.
  • Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes is increasingly being reported among children who are overweight. Onset of diabetes in children can lead to heart disease and kidney failure.
  • Children with obesity also have more risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol than their normal weight peers. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, almost 60% of children who were overweight had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), and 25% had two or more CVD risk factors.
  • Children with obesity are more likely to have obesity as adults. This can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers.
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What Can I Do As a Parent or Guardian to Help Prevent Childhood Overweight and Obesity?

To help your child maintain a healthy weight, balance the calories your child consumes from foods and beverages with the calories your child uses through physical activity and normal growth.

Remember that the goal for children who are overweight is to reduce the rate of weight gain while allowing normal growth and development. Children should NOT be placed on a weight reduction diet without the consultation of a health care provider.

Balancing Calories: Help Kids Develop Healthy Eating Habits

One part of balancing calories is to eat foods that provide adequate nutrition and an appropriate number of calories. You can help children learn to be aware of what they eat by developing healthy eating habits, looking for ways to make favorite dishes healthier, and reducing calorie-rich temptations.

Encourage healthy eating habits.

To read more please follow : https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/children/index.html

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