Think your kid is overweight? Focus on creating healthy habits for the entire family!
A 10-year-old boy came into my office last week and promptly asked, "Am I too chubby?" His mother added, "I read about BMIs as a way to determine if someone is overweight. What is a BMI anyway? What does it mean?"
The body mass index, BMI for short, is a calculation that uses height and weight to estimate how much body fat a child has. The result is then compared with those of kids of the same age and gender to determine if the child falls within a healthy weight range. (You can use an online BMI tool to check your child.)
It's worth doing, because a child who is overweight is not only at higher risk for diabetes, hip fractures, obesity as an adult, and other health problems, but his happiness is in jeopardy as well -- as my young patient illustrates. You might think a child doesn't worry about body size until he reaches his teens, but I've noticed younger children are also concerned. In fact, a recent KidsHealth poll found that more than half of kids ages 9 to 13 said they were stressed about their weight.
What can you do if your child is overweight? These simple tips can help.
Lead by example
Cook more often
Get your family moving
Keep TV out of bedrooms
Get enough sleep