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How To Successfully Manage Weight Loss For Obese Children

Updated on October 21, 2010

Healthy Baby Is Happy Baby

Childhood Obesity

Today, most children and adolescents in the age group 6-19 are in the overweight group and on their way to becoming obese for life, shown by surveys conducted by health and nutrition government agencies. What's more their numbers are growing at a rapid pace, sending alarm bells. Being obese means being condemned for life with diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and most importantly, cardiac diseases. Obesity in childhood is one of the major cause for children suffering from diabetes and heart disease. Shorter life span is the result !

Yes, so who is responsible ? It is the duty of parents to provide for their children and also see that they do not overdo it. It is important that parents are role models themselves for their children who watch them closely at home. And that includes food habits.

What are the risk factors for obesity ?

Poor Nutrition: Overweight & obese children are generally seen eating junk food, that are low or nil on nutrition and high on calories. Soda and all aerated drinks also compound the problem. Fried and fatty food add upto the calorie intake.

According to age and height, there is a certain recommended calorie intake and certain foods to be included on a daily basis to meet the developing body's requirement for essential vitamins and minerals, but in the case of obese children, these are not being provided by the food eaten as they are the wrong kind of food.

Physical InActivity: Overweight children tend to usually be lazy and shun physical activity of any kind. They end up as couch potatoes, and are less sociable.

Genetics: Most often, it is seen that the family has a history of obesity.

Lack of Sleep: Contrary to belief, sleeplessness also causes obesity.

Among the above, nothing can be done to change the genetics, but surely, the other 3 can be minimized and totally rid off over time, to see a healthier, energetic child looking forward to a healthy adulthood.

Most parents are not even aware that their child may be overweight, therefore, it is first extremely important for you as parents to take charge and visit the pediatrician for a BMI check. Or you can calculate using the BMI Calculator with the child's height and weight. Based on your result, your child can be categorized as underweight, optimum weight, overweight, or obese.

If your child is in the overweight or obese bracket, it would be worthwhile to work with a registered dietitian and the doctor, to shed those extra pounds. It is seen that 70 % of all obese adolescents grow up into obese adults.

Weight Loss For An Obese Child Or Adolescent

Setting healthy goals for weight loss is essential but working closely with a registered dietitian and doctor is absolutely necessary to attain these. The dietitian usually gives specific advice on what must be eaten in order to be more healthier while losing some weight. Proper physical exercise will be advised and for what duration. A child or adolescent will need the parent's guidance and support in achieving weight loss goals, particularly as they go through phases of low self esteem at this point.

Top 10 Ways To Help My Child Achieve His Weight Loss Goal

  1. Encourage your child to take up physical activity that he/she likes for atleast an hour a day.
  2. Monitor the time spent in front of the television ,and computer or a video game. Allow only 2 hours a day.
  3. Find out how many calories he actually needs to consume in a day and seeing that he sticks by it.
  4. Stop stocking processed food (they are full of preservatives), carbonated sugary drinks, junk food in the refrigerator.
  5. Make sure he gets his 5 servings a day of fresh fruits and vegetables. Look for good recipes that encourage this without adding too much fat.
  6. Look for healthy snack alternatives such as a glass of toned milk, a fruit or sandwich made from wholewheat bread and lean poultry.
  7. Make sure your child always gets a good nights rest - toddlers need to sleep the longest, adolescents need to sleep 9 hours and those in age group 6-12 need atleast 10-11 hours.
  8. Teach your child to make healthy food choices even when eating out rather than opt for junk food that's readily available.
  9. Above all be a good role model and stick to the healthy eating options always. Shun SUPERESIZE ME offers eat normal portions along with your child. Both of you will end up happier and healthier with loads of energy to do all the fun things for a lifetime.
  10. And once optimum weight is achieved through your weight loss program, do not allow the child to go back to unhealthy eating patterns and wrong food choices. This is absolutely important as many tend to put back all the lost weight if not monitored. Weight management should therefore be a lifestyle modification for a healthier and longer life.

Never use the word "DIETING", on your child, only encourage healthy eating and healthy living with proper weight management. It will serve you well to include the whole family in this as you make healthy eating choices together and engage in using recipes that call for more veggies and fruits, lean meats, lean poultry, fish, low fat milk products and eggs.

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    • Purple Perl profile imageAUTHOR

      Purple Perl 

      8 years ago from Bangalore,India

      You are welcome,haaris_1.

    • haaris_1 profile image

      haaris_1 

      8 years ago

      Very informative .. thanks for sharing

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