See our full article here on 'CHILD OBESITY' in our Health Section.
A summary of the above article is as follows:
- Many children nowadays throughout the world are becoming obese although it does vary from country to country
- Obese children tend to become obese adults and they are at risk of living shorter, unhappier lives. They are more likely to have health issues and in some cases can become socially isolated causing emotional issues.
- Children are spending less time at home exercising and less time at school exercising. Pressures on parents' time has led to a proliferation of unhealthy fast, processed foods too. Lack of sleep has been proven to contribute to weight gain too
- BMI is used as a measure of obesity in children but this is not ideal and can be misinterpreted! For children you are better using body fat percentage which can easily be measured by many modern electronic weight scales (which incorporate a Bioelectrical Impedance Analyser). Then check your child's value against the chart in our article 'CHILD OBESITY OVERVIEW'.
- You should be a role model for your children. If you are overweight then use this fact as a motivator to eat healthier foods and to do more exercise as a family.
- Monitor and minimise sedentary TV/tablet/computer time and monitor and maximise activity time
- Always make activities interesting for children and never a chore. Don't nag children to 'do exercise'.