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Child Obesity: Overweight Teens

Obesity, having too much body fat, is growing concern for parents and healthcare providers. The government has even taken notice. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the rate of obesity in children has more than tripled over the last three decades

Child Obesity Increasing

There are a variety of reasons why childhood obesity is on the rise. Mostly it is due to kids eating more and moving less. Tweens and teens are filling up on unhealthy foods and not getting the exercise they need to maintain a healthy weight. The more you know about childhood obesity, the more you can help prevent and address it with your young teen.

Tips to Help Fight Child Obesity & Overweight Kids

  • Encourage your child to eat a healthy, balanced diet, avoid over-eating, and get physical activity each day. Obesity is typically caused by taking in more calories than are being burned. The CDC recommends that kids get at least one hour of physical activity each day.
  • Try using a positive approach to encouraging healthy eating and activity by setting up a behavior chart that your child can use each week. Opt for non-food rewards.
  • Discuss the issue with your child. Let him know that being overweight can cause health problems. Be gentle in your approach because this is a sensitive subject, and you don't want to damage his self-esteem.
  • Help your child maintain a healthy weight by focusing on providing healthy meals and snacks at home and encouraging family exercise. Get the whole family involved in a fun, non-competitive activity.
  • Avoid labeling your child as obese, fat, overweight, etc. These labels will do nothing to help his self-esteem or to help him get healthy. Instead, focus on being positive upbeat, and make lifestyle changes that foster healthy habits.
  • Set a good example by maintaining a healthy weight yourself. Young teens who see their parents living a healthy lifestyle will be more likely to do so themselves. Ask your physician for tips and information about healthy eating.

Child Obesity and BMI

Body Mass Index (BMI) may help you understand how a healthy weight is calculated. If you have tried to help your young teen with the issue and have not had success, seek the help of a physician. With some patience and consistency, you will most likely be successful in helping your child to prevent or overcome obesity.