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As a parent, it may at times be very difficult to tell that your child is obese at a younger age. Since children grow at different rates and the amount of body fat also changes with their age, telling whether he or she is overweight may not be an easy task. One way that can help you to determine the weight status is to calculate the body mass index or BMI. This may differ in children, according to age and their sex. To find out if your teenager is overweight, you can see the BMI for age growth charts that is created by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
Why should you be concerned?
Now if the chart says that your kid is overweight or in the obese category, then it is time to be concerned. He or she may soon develop breathing problems or joint pains. These health issues may restrict him or her to keep up with friends and some children may also develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes due to excess weight.
How can you help your child fight obese?
Parents play a great role in helping children build good eating and physical habits that last a lifetime.
Be a role model: When it is about controlling the weight of your kid, what you do is more important than what you say. Kids usually develop their food habits from their parents. If you expose your children to fast foods regularly then they will develop the same habit. So try to change your lifestyle and choose healthy foods and great physical activities for your family.
Avoid verbal abuse: If you think that making negative comments about your kid’s physical appearance will help him or her to lose weight then you are wrong. By doing this you will only worsen the situation and develop a negative level and inferiority complex in them. Instead of criticizing, provide them with help and encouragement.
Find out why they eat: Childhood obesity is a great sign of stress. Your child may be lonely or depressed. And if he or she is self medicating with food, then this may be the prime reason for overweight. Give them company and help them to fight stress.
Talk to them about its health effects: Overweight kids can often be lonely because they are socially isolated. Help them understand the truth that overweight is a signal to heart problems, high blood pressure and many other serious diseases.
Encourage outdoor games: Parents should get their kids involved in various activities like music classes, table tennis, swimming or any other activities that he or she is interested in.
Balanced diet: Don’t force your child to eliminate food totally, establish good and healthy eating habits. Offer then more vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds and whole grains. Let them start meals with small servings and avoid using adult size plates as it encourages them to eat huge portions.
Teaching good eating habits from the very beginning can help your child remain fit and fine throughout life. Help and support to them and make your child believe that taking care of their body and keeping it healthy is part of loving themselves.