Childhood Obesity 2

Friday, March 06, 2015

The number of overweight and obese children and teens continues to rise. Parents may be at a loss for what to do to help their child if he or she is struggling with weight issues. Dr. Edward Hill gives some advice in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

The number of overweight and obese children in the United States has increased dramatically over the past two decades.

For most children, being overweight is the result of unhealthy eating patterns and too little physical activity. Since these habits are established in early childhood, efforts to prevent obesity should begin early.

Assessing obesity in children is difficult because children grow in unpredictable spurts. It should only be done by a health care professional.

Weight loss is not a good approach for most young children, since their bodies are growing and developing. Overweight children should not be put on a diet unless a physician supervises one for medical reasons. A restrictive diet may not supply the energy and nutrients needed for normal growth and development.

For most very young children, the focus should be to maintain current weight, while the child grows normally in height.

Parents should teach and model healthy and positive attitudes toward food and physical activity. This will encourage children to adopt healthy behaviors that can last a lifetime.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.