How to Help Your Overweight Child Lose Weight and Find Better Health

List: Posted: 12/10/10

We all know that the world is facing an obesity crisis, and even young children are affected. Thirty percent of all families now have at least one overweight child. So what can you do to help your overweight child improve his or her health?

Before you help your overweight child lose weight, first see a doctor to confirm what their appropriate goal weight should actually be. You’ll learn about your child’s Body Mass Index (BMI) and the pediatrician may refer you to a nutritionist or registered dietitian. It’s important to map out a realistic diet plan that takes into consideration your child’s food preferences.

It’s essential to be supportive of your child. Now is not the time to make jokes or be overly critical. Much of weight loss is psychological. You can tell your overweight child that he or she is not alone.

Are you role modeling good eating behavior? Your overweight child learns what to think about food, and what food choices to make, by watching you. If you spend all night in front of the TV eating junk food, chances are, so will your child. It takes an effort, but adding just one 'healthy' activity to your nightly routine, such as walking the dog to the park, or taking your bikes to the corner store, can really make a difference to your child's health in the long run.

Family time is an opportunity to be active together. Chances are that your overweight child is spending too much time not only eating the wrong foods, but also not enjoying physical activities because he or she isn't used to them. By encouraging sports that interest your overweight child – whether karate or yoga or soccer – the weight may naturally fall off. You can also help out in smaller ways, such as not driving your older child everywhere if alternative means of transport are available (walking, bike-riding, etc).

Your child doesn’t have to be overweight forever. By intervening early and being supportive, your child will develop a healthy attitude toward healthy foods and healthy activities, and won’t become just another statistic.

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The material in this article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of See Additional Information

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