Did you know..?
is when a child’s weight is 20% in excess of the standard
weight for the child’s height
2. Surveys show that about 20% of
obese children go on to become fat adults.
3. Obese adults develop a tendency
to suffer health issues such as heart problems, blood
pressure, diabetes etc
4. A fact remains that obese children
are targets for social bullying and this can lead
to social rejection.
5. A child’s weight goes up strictly
in proportion with his height; so if he gains weight
much faster than his height then he is getting on
the fat side.
show that children of obese parents turn obese with
time but the same didn't apply when overweight adults
raised adopted kids as their own; these children
do not become obese. This point can be illustrated
further with the example of a set of twins; if one
identical twin is overweight the other tends to
be too while this tendency varies greatly for non-identical
- eating foods high
in fat and sugar like junk food and cutting back
on nutritious ones such as fruits, vegetables paves
the way for obese eating habits. Lack of exercise
does not help either.
Check with your pediatrician and with the help of
his growth chart it can be determined or confirmed
if weight is an issue with your child. If it is
decided that your child is overweight, then your
focus should be to slow down his weight gain and
not put him on some weight loss program. Some tips
you can consider:
• Look into your child's consumption of fat:
make a substantial difference to calories without
a substantial difference to taste. The first step
is to reduce his table fats and fried foods. Instead
of frying foods in oil or butter try dry frying
in a non-stick pan or baking. Opt for low-calorie
spreads instead of butter; oven baked French fries
instead of deep frying them. Eggs and bacons for
instance ought to be cooked in a non-stick pan.
Mode of cooking affects calories.
• Although no longer on a milk diet, it is
sensible to serve your child semi-skimmed milk.
Serve water at meals or as thirst quenchers instead
of juices and fizzy drinks. Occasionally mix fresh
juice with soda as a treat.
• Look into his carbohydrate intake because
while they work as energy foods, the sugary versions
do more harm than good. Sugar in drinks for instance
gives a lot of calories without actually filling
him up. Reduce on empty calories and dissuade your
child from growing dependant on sweet drinks and
you are working towards preventing your child from
walking on the road towards obesity.
• Avoid using sweets as rewards and treats;
he will want sweets whenever he is miserable and associate
sweets as being part of your loving feelings. He will
start seeing sweets as being owed to him whenever
something untoward happens to him. Manage a cool approach
where sweets are concerned and treat sweets as you
would other foods. Of course it is best not to keep
sweets in the house and at regular intervals buy your
child the less damaging variety in small portions.
Ten small sweets seem more to a child than five big
• Look at his lifestyle and then look at yours
too; is he glued to the TV or does he expend enough
energy on the playground, is he a lot on the floor
exploring or stuck in his playpen? The fact remains
that children like emulating adults and so does your
child emulate you and prefers being a couch potato
to an active energetic person? All children, more
so an overweight child needs other children and adults
to run around with and away from. They can learn games
like catch ball in the company of an active adult
or rolling on the ground from other kids. As your
kid progresses from crawling to walking, he will want
to be on the move - encourage this as it will do him
good physically and mentally.
• With an older kid, be wary of snack foods.
Three square meals just won't do - you will need to
incorporate snacks, which are essentially mini-meals
in between regular meals. Snacks are a necessity and
many are interestingly packaged and are more often
fun foods containing loads of calories. Because of
this snack foods often become nutritionally challenging.
A pack of chocolate biscuits for instance isn't very
nutritious versus an apple.
A Final Word
All said and done, some toddlers are plump without
being fat. Many children are born big and progress
into big adults. So as toddlers they appear plump
with round cheeks and tummies which stick out. An
interesting observation to watch out for is how fat
babies in the last weeks prior to moving around slim
down rather quickly once they get onto their feet,
making plumpness a rather short-lived phase of childhood.