Helping A Child Maintain A Healthy Body Weight

By Jo Arazi

You must have come across it on the news, the internet and the papers that a lot of children are getting obese. For about two decades, we’ve continued to see a rise in the number of kids with obesity. A research carried out in the US showed that a third of children are obese and now it’s becoming a major problem.

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Why Childhood Obesity is a Health Problem

• Obese children are teased or sometimes bullied by their peers with normal weight. This could make them suffer depression, social isolation and lower self-esteem.
• They are at risk of suffering from diseases and chronic health conditions like sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and bone and joint problems.
• Getting diabetes as an obese child could lead to kidney failure and heart disease.
• They are also at risk of high cholesterol and high blood pressure
For a child to maintain healthy body weight, the calories they consume from beverages and foods have to be balanced with calories they use through normal growth and physical activities.

Keep in mind that the aim is to reduce the rate at which obese and overweight children gain weight – at the same time, allowing growth and development. Ensure you consult a doctor, before placing your child on a diet.

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Here are some tips to help achieve this:
• Provide a lot of veggies, whole grain products and fruits.
• Include non-fat milk
• Go for poultry, lentils, fish and lean meats
• Reduce sugar-sweetened beverages
• Reduce the consumption of saturated fat and sugar.