How am i able to tell if my child is overweight?
Being able to inform whether a toddler is overweight isn't always easy. Children grow at different rates and at different times. Also, the quantity of a child’s body fat changes with age and differs between girls and boys.
One way to tell if your child is overweight is to calculate his or her body mass index External link (BMI). BMI may be a measure of weight relative to height. The BMI calculator uses a formula that produces a score often wont to tell whether an individual is underweight, a traditional weight, overweight, or obese. The BMI of youngsters is age- and sex-specific and referred to as the “BMI-for-age.”
BMI-for-age uses growth charts created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Doctors use these charts to track a child’s growth. The charts use a number called a percentile to show how your child's BMI compares with the BMI of other children. The main BMI categories for children and teens are:
Ø Healthy weight: 5th to 84th percentile
Ø Overweight: 85th to 94th percentile
Ø Obese: 95th percentile or higher
Why should I be concerned?
You should worry if your child has extra weight because weighing an excessive amount of may increase the probabilities that your child will develop health problems now or later in life.
In the short run, for instance , he or she may have breathing problems or joint pain, making it hard to stay up with friends. Some children may develop health problems, like type 2 diabetes, high vital sign , and high cholesterol. Some children also may experience teasing, bullying, depression, or low self-esteem.
Children who are overweight are at higher risk of entering adulthood with an excessive amount of weight. The chances of developing health problems such as heart disease and certain types of cancer are higher among adults with too much weight.
BMI may be a screening tool and doesn't directly measure body fat or a private child’s risk of health problems. If you're concerned about your child's weight, talk together with your child’s doctor or other health care professional. He or she will check your child's overall health and growth over time and tell you if weight management could also be helpful. Many children who are still growing long don’t got to lose weight; they'll got to decrease the quantity of weight they gain while they grow taller. Don't put your child on a weight-loss diet unless your child’s doctor tells you to.
What can I do to improve my child’s eating habits?
Besides consuming fewer foods, drinks, and snacks that are high in calories, fat, sugar, and salt, you may get your child to eat healthier by offering these options more often:
Ø Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains such as brown rice
Ø Lean meats, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, soy products, and eggs, instead of meat high in fat
Ø Fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products or milk substitutes, such as soy beverages with added calcium and vitamin D, instead of whole milk or cream
Ø Fruit and vegetable smoothies made with fat-free or low-fat yogurt, instead of milk shakes or ice cream
Ø Water, fat-free, or low-fat milk, instead of soda and other drinks with added sugars
Healthy snack ideas
To help your child eat less candy, cookies, and other unhealthy snacks, try these healthier snack options instead:
Ø Air-popped popcorn without butter
Ø Fresh, frozen, or fruit canned in natural juices, plain or with fat-free or low-fat yogurt
Ø Fresh vegetables, such as baby carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, or cherry tomatoes
Ø Low-sugar, whole-grain cereal with fat-free or low-fat milk, or a milk substitute with added calcium and vitamin D
What should I look for in a weight-management program?
When choosing a weight-management program for your child, search for a program that:
Ø Includes a variety of health care providers on staff, such as doctors, psychologists External link and registered dietitians.
Ø Evaluates your child's weight, growth, and health before enrollment and throughout the program.
Ø Adapts to your child’s specific age and abilities. Programs for elementary school-aged children should vary from those for teens.
Ø Helps your family keep healthy eating, drinking, and physical activity habits after the program ends.
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