If your child is overweight…

mom cooking with child

Has your pediatrician informed you that your child is overweight or obese? With all the focus on the “obesity epidemic” pediatricians are now required to address the issue if a child’s Body Mass Index (BMI) falls above the 85th percentile (overweight) or 95th percentile (obese). A good parent’s natural instinct is to do the right thing which usually means take action.

Unfortunately, the first logical thing is to restrict a child’s intake,  which most parents don’t realize is the worst thing you can do! Recent research actually identifies three major contributors to childhood obesity: (1) lack of sleep, (2) parental lifestyle and eating habits and (3) parental restriction. This means that the more a parent tries to stop a child from eating more, or withholds food from a child, the more likely they are to seek out food and overeat. It backfires.

What should parents do instead? Childhood obesity is a very complicated issue with many contributing factors. I recommend seeking out a pediatric registered dietitian for guidance. You can also start now to work on being the healthiest you can be as a parent! This means work on being active, cooking healthy balanced meals, and focusing on health and NOT weight. More on this important topic to come!

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