am concerned about my child's weight gain. What should I do?
are getting heavier these days and that is bad news for their health,
especially as they get older. Children who are overweight are more
likely to develop diabetes or heart disease in later life and are
more likely be obese as adults. Even if your child is not overweight
or obese, it is important that they eat healthily and are physically
best thing that you can do is to help your child develop healthy
eating habits and be more physically active. Children who see their
family following a healthy lifestyle tend to learn by example and it
will help them develop good habits. These habits become a normal part
of everyday life. Most overweight children do not need to diet. They
may not even need to lose weight. As they grow taller, aim to keep
their weight at about the same level. That means they grow into their
ideal weight as they get taller. It is not a good idea to count
calories or severely restrict food for children.
children should aim to be active for at least one hour every day. A
variety of activity is important to help children develop strong
bones, muscle strength and flexibility. Activity can be natural and
spontaneous (in the playground, playing outside), or planned
(walking, cycling to school) or school sports. Remember to praise
your children when they take part or are active and do not criticise
them if they are not as able as other children.
ask for a medical assessment for your child if they experience
unexpected weight changes in either direction. Numerous causes are
possible, depending on the child's age when it starts:
your doctor if you notice:
influence, for example of peer group, school problems, frustration,
in family conditions, for example more or less activity
eating enough or eating too much (disorders like anorexia nervosa
medical conditions like diabetes or hyperthyroidism.
Richmond Practice our consultant paediatrician offers competent
advice and a wide range of tests for childhood obesity and other
conditions that may cause concern.
in diet and eating habits
in behaviour, depression, tendency to isolate, nervousness
in activity, problems with exercise.
pains, vomiting, diarrhoea.
motor and speech development in younger children