The increase in childhood obesity is a major concern throughout the UK.
Obesity is primarily caused by an unhealthy diet which is too rich in sugar and fats and lack of exercise to burn off excess calories.
Around 27% of children in the UK are now overweight and research suggests that it is the reduction in exercise that is the main problem.
It is often the lifestyle that families live that shows that overweight parents often have overweight children.
Treatment for Childhood Obesity
Talk to your family doctor if you are worried about your child’s weight, they may send you to see a dietician who could help.
A crash diet is the wrong way to go. Better results are achieved by making long term changes to both died and exercise.
- Increase fresh fruit and vegetables into the diet – not only are they extremely good for them but they help to fill them up too.
- A piece of fruit would make a good substitute for a packet of crisps at school break.
- Change fizzy juice for low calorie diluting juice.
- Help encourage them by making changes to all the family meals
- Take part in a sport as a family
The Department of Heath has said that the most common method of measuring obesity in adults is by calculating your BMI(body mass index)
How to Calculate BMI
Weight in Kilograms
Square of their Height in Meters
Divide Weight by square of Height.
Check out your family’s BMI at the NHS Choices website here: http://www.nhs.uk/tools/pages/healthyweightcalculator.aspx?tag
For more information about measuring for child obesity visit the National Obesity Observatory website here: http://www.noo.org.uk/NCMP
Many children are turning into couch potatoes. A phrase originally meant for those who sat and watched TV.
With the increase in games stations, internet and hand held consoles, children are inactive for greater periods of time.
Try to increase their level of outdoor activities
- Join a club – football, netball, golf
- Get a bicycle
- Go for a family walk
- Start swimming
Don’t ask your child to have a separate diet from the rest of the family. It is important that the changes you make are ones that the family as a whole can do.
Long term changes to their lifestyle will work best for your child.
Always get advice from your doctor or a dietician before start any weight loss plan for your child.