Eat wise, drop a size.
When defining overweight in children and adolescents, it's important to consider both weight and body composition. Among American children ages 2–19, the following percentages of children are obese. Adolescents should strive for a MINIMUM of 60 minutes of moderate activity each day. To help achieve this, they should participate in at least three sessions of physical activity that last 20 minutes or more each week. Prior to that, eating five or more fruits and vegetables (combined) per day. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. With that being said, Adolescents should stay away from sugary drinks like soda, fruit drinks and sport drinks and switch over to water or milk.
- In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
- The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period
- Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for many types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, colon, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix, and prostate.
- Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults and are therefore more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. One study showed that children who became obese as early as age 2 were more likely to be obese as adults.
For More Information:
Problems and Questions of Child Obesity
"Where do I get help?"
Parents and other caregivers can play an important role in helping children build healthy eating and physical activity habits that will last a lifetime.
To help your child develop healthy habits...
- be a positive role model. Children are good learners and they often mimic what they see. Choose healthy foods and active pastimes for yourself.
- involve the whole family in building healthy eating and physical activity habits. This benefits everyone and doesn't single out the child who is overweight.