Family plays key role in monitoring a childs weight

November 12, 2012

Family plays key role in monitoring a childs weight

Your Child’s Weight is an Issue for the Whole Family.

Experts in childhood obesity say that your child’s weight is a family affair.

The news that a boy from Cleveland has been removed from his mother and placed into faster care due to his obesity is a major step for everyone involved. The third grader weighed in at more than 200 pounds. The social workers involved said that they had to do something because the eight year old’s mother was not addressing his weight problem.

Of the situation, Keith Ayoob, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and a nutrition blogger says

“This is an unfortunate problem with an unfortunate outcome that probably could have been handled better by everybody. Ayoob was not involved in this particular case or any of the earlier steps taken before reaching such a serious conclusion but he takes the view held by all nutrition experts. Obesity is bad and the level of this boy’s obesity is very serious. However everyone must remember that the boy’s best interests are what people must remain focused on.

In the U.S. about 33% of all children are overweight or obese, these figures coming from government statistics. In this case if the boy did not have any medical problems then the only way he could have become that weight is by taking too much food into his body and not doing enough to burn the calories off. Ayoob states the obvious, “A child doesn’t get to 200 pounds without some serious overeating. There have to be limits. The parents need to say no”. Elizabeth Ward is a registered dietician in Boston and she agrees. She also points out that all family members are involved, and healthy eating and regular exercise are not choices they are compulsory. She goes on to give some advice on how to change your eating habits to a healthier option. To start with, she says, avoid the sugary fizzy drinks, usually with added sugar, “pour them down the drain”, she exclaims. Choose water or low fat milk instead. Pediatrician Jennifer Shu, from Atlanta and editor of for the American Academy of Pediatrics, advocates the simple route. She says don’t have sugary snacks or candies at home, “out of sight, out of mind can be a powerful approach.” However she does urge a little caution because cutting back too much all of the time can generate problems. She urges that you find ways to introduce an occasional treat but always ensure that sugary, high calorie sweets and snacks do not become the mainstay of the diet.


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