Child Obesity: How to Know When It Becomes a Problem

Most parents don’t admit that their child might have an obesity problem until they are well overweight for some time. You will probably be more likely to take the optimistic perspective and decide your child is simply in a growth phase or even of average body type when the child is actually chronically overweight. It’s also a difficult subject to bring up and discuss, with either an adult or a child. Here are some signs that your child’s weight is a real problem.

Body Mass Index

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Your pediatrician will likely track your child’s BMI, but it’s also something you can do yourself. BMI is determined by relative height and weight compared to other children of the same age and sex. It’s recommended that you start charting your son or daughter’s BMI as early as age two. To be seen in context, the BMI measurement usually breaks down into a percentage of overall population. For example, if your child is determined to be in the 70th percentile, it means 70 percent of children with that same age and sex have lower BMIs. BMIs in the 85th to 95th percentile indicate a problem, while anything in the 95th percentile or above is considered obese. Start tracking your child’s BMI early so that you can spot weight-gain trends over time.

Obesity-Related Disorders

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Several disorders have been shown to have obesity as a strong factor. These include type 2 diabetes, pain in hips or knees, and sleep apnea. Children can develop these problems at an early age. Obesity can also lead to high cholesterol, asthma, skin problems, headaches, and abnormal activity in liver enzymes. If you or other members of your family have similar medical problems and/or a history of obesity, your child may also be genetically predisposed to these conditions. If your child is overweight and develops symptoms of these disorders, be sure to discuss it with a physician before the problems intensify.

Psychological Factors

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Children who are overweight may also suffer from low self-esteem and tend to be more withdrawn. They may get teased or shunned by other students at school. Many children will find comfort in food. They will also tend to avoid group activities that involve physical exercise and prefer solitary engagement such as drawing, reading, watching TV, and playing video games. If your child is overweight and shows signs of this type of behavioral pattern, encourage them to open up and discuss their feelings. Find ways to help them develop their confidence, and encourage them to take up a sport. At times professional counseling may be necessary.

Dietary Habits

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As much as possible, keep track of what and how much your child consumes. Bad eating habits that are allowed to develop may continue for years if not corrected. Even if your child eats the healthy meals you serve, they may still be getting excessive calories from junk food like chips and cookies, ice cream, soda, and candy. There are stores and vending machines everywhere that contribute to this unhealthy lifestyle. If you feel your child is over-indulging in treats, explain the concept of nutrition vs calories to them in terms they’ll understand. Provide healthier snacks like fruit or nuts. You might also want to consider a nutritional program to off-set bad choices. Do your research. For instance, by looking up Xyngular reviews online, you can discover a wide variety of healthy supplement choices that have been of value to others.

While childhood obesity can stem from any number of causes or a mix of them, it’s important that you catch it early and take steps to correct it. Educate your child about nutrition and exercise often, but most importantly be a role model by observing healthy guidelines yourself.

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