Tips for Health

Overweight and obesity in childhood: Helping your child achieve a healthy weight

By on April 10, 2012 in Dieting, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

What causes weight gain in children?

In children who are healthy, weight gain usually occurs when a child consumes more calories than you burn. Children need extra calories to grow and develop. But, as with adults, if a child eats more calories than you use, the body stores these extra calories as fat.

Why is it important for my child to learn good eating habits and exercise?

Good nutrition and physical activity can help your child achieve and maintain a healthy weight. If you can help your child to have good food and exercise habits at an early age, these good habits will benefit your child when he becomes an adult. Staying physically fit prevents health problems that overweight or obese can cause later in life. Health problems associated with overweight and obesity include:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Some types of cancer

A child who has weight problems can also have low self esteem, being teased or being mishandled by its weight, being depressed, feeling bad about their body, or isolated and alone. These feelings can interfere with the child’s ability to learn, make friends and interact with others.

Limit time in front of screens

Try to limit the time in front of the screens to not more than 1 to 2 hours per day or less. The time in front of screens includes playing on the computer or video games, surf the Internet or watching TV or DVD.

How I can encourage my child to be more physically active?

Your child is aware of the decisions you make about how you live your life. Although you may not realize, what your child sees you do affects the choices he makes. If your child sees you exercise regularly, the more likely that he also be more active. Make physical activity part of the common routine of the family. For example, you walking the dog every morning, or playing dunk the ball before dinner every night. The type of physical activity is not the same for each family. But find a way to incorporate exercise routines in the lifestyle of your family.

What I can do to help my child make healthy choices about foods?

By teaching healthy eating habits and encourage them to follow, you provide important tools for lifelong health. You can also gain ground in how your child believes healthy eating by giving a good example. Another tip to remember is to avoid using food as a reward. Instead, reward good behavior with a fun family activity, like bowling or walk on skates instead of ice cream or burgers and fries.


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