Children with Weight Problems


It seems that we spent the first months and years of our children’s lives obsessing about getting them to eat enough and put weight on. Just when we start to relax we have to worry about them eating too much and keeping weight off. You only have to look around you to see that children are carrying more fat that they used to. 27.9% of children between the ages of 2 and 10 are now overweight or obese. The likelihood is that without intervention they will continue to gain weight and suffer from obesity by adulthood. Obesity carries many health risks, but also terrible social pressures, and children and adults are likely to suffer from low self esteem, social exclusion and depression.

Health Risks to Children:

o Type 2 diabetes, Hypertension, Sleep apnea, Asthma, Breathing problems, High blood cholesterol, Psychological disorders, such as depression, due to social stigmatization

Health Risks to Adults:

o Type 2 diabetes , Heart disease, Stroke, Hypertension, Gallbladder disease, Osteoarthritis, Sleep apnea, Asthma, Breathing problems, Certain cancers (colon, endometrial, kidney, esophageal, and postmenopausal breast), High blood cholesterol, Complications of pregnancy, Psychological disorders, such as depression, due to social stigmatization, Premature death

It can be difficult and worrying for parents to admit that their children are overweight. If you are worried that your child is overweight he first port of call is to visit the family GP on your own. Then there is lots of support and advice out there to help families change. It is important to try and change the overall eating patterns and activity levels of the family as a whole without letting the child feel singled out. Often it can be useful to ask the family to help support you in a new healthy living programme, again so attention is deflected from the child. The key to helping an overweight child is to encourage and support, to flatter and reward all of their good points and make them feel special, seccure and confident. Here are some basic tips to be used in conjunction with seeking advice from your GP;

o Change the lifestyle and eating habits of the whole family.

o Make it easy to access good healthy food in small portions. Throw out the bad stuff, and stop buying it.

o There is a strong link between television watching and weight problems, so encourage the entire familly to watch less TV.

o Set aside some more time to be with them pursuing activities such as a kick-about.

o Set a good example yourself.

Vikki Scovell BA(hons) PG DIP is a fully qualified Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach. She is a qualified Nutrition Adviser and runs successful Community Exercise classes. Vikki is a consultant in Healthy Eating and Exercise initiatives to schools in the independent sector and publishes School and General Healthy Living newsletters.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

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