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Helping Your Child Maintain a Healthy Weight

Child obesity is at record levels! More than 20% of kids are considered obese, which is a triple the number of obese children from thirty years ago. It is possible to help keep your child's weight in check, though. The more you know, the more your child will benefit.

Child Obesity: The Issues

Weight issues are such a problem because they can lead to long-term health issues. Obesity is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and a number of other serious health problems. On the other end of the spectrum, being underweight can be just as devastating on the body! So what is a parent to do? A lot!

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

  • Talk to your tween or teen about maintaining a healthy weight. Explain to her the problem with child obesity and why it's unhealthy. But don't nag her or become obsessed with it, or the problem could go the other direction. Just help educate her on the topic.
  • Avoid ridiculing her, labeling, or trying to embarrass her because of her weight. This will not do anything to help the issue and will likely make it worse.
  • Discuss what an ideal weight is for her age. You can log online and conduct a BMI calculation to see where she falls in terms of how healthy her weight is.
  • Provide her with proper nutrition, which means lots of healthy, fresh, and wholesome foods. At this age, parents are likely still providing most of the food, so you have a lot of influence over this. Make sure there are healthy snacks available at all times.
  • Encourage your child to get active. Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Set a good example by maintaining a healthy weight and making healthy living a priority.
  • Discuss the issue with your doctor to see what options are recommended for a child with a serious weight problem.

Use exercise and behavior charts to encourage your child to exercise daily, eat healthy, etc. By using positive rewards and making health a family priority, your child will learn valuable lifestyle habits that can last a lifetime. With some patience and consistency, your child will be feeling great and living healthy!