Childhood Obesity

by Pete
(NY)

What advice do you give for a 4 year old child (or any age less than 7/8 years old) who is above the 95th percentile? Do you put them on a strict diet and what menu plan would you give?

Thank you.



Childhood obesity is a serious problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over the past three decades the childhood obesity rate has more than doubled for preschool children aged 2-5 years and adolescents aged 12-19 years, and it has more than tripled for children aged 6-11 years.

There are a number of factors that contribute to overweight/obesity and they can't be remedied by strict dieting. Strict dieting doesn't work for adults, and it won't work for children either. In fact, it could be harmful to a child's growth and to his/her psyche.

As parents, it's our role to provide our children with a variety of healthy foods and to encourage regular physical activity. That would be a good starting point, as would limiting sweetened beverages, avoiding use of food as a reward, and helping the child slow his/her pace of eating down.

You can find more information and some good recipes on this website and at the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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