Jul 15th, 2022

Healthy weight in children is important for promoting lifelong well-being and preventing a variety of health conditions. Childhood obesity has continued to rise over the past two decades, and can pose immediate and future health risks.

Thankfully, parents and guardians can help children maintain a healthy weight by helping them develop healthy habits. The goal for children who are overweight is to reduce the rate of weight gain while allowing normal growth and development. Children should not be placed on a weight reduction diet without the consultation of a health care provider.

Know the risks

About 1 in 5 children in the US has obesity

Compared to children with healthy weight, children with overweight/obesity are at a higher risk for asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Children with obesity are also more likely to experience bullying, social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.

To prevent childhood obesity, follow these 5 Things You Can Do at Home.

Eat the rainbow
A healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat or fat-free dairy.

Move more
Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Check out Move Your Way for more tips!

Slow down on sugar
Children under age 2 should have no added sugar in their diet at all, and children over age 2 should keep sugars to less than 10% of their daily calories.

Reduce screen time
Too much screen time has health consequences: it’s associated with poor sleep, weight gain, lower grades in school, and poor mental health in youth.

Sleep well
Children 6-12 years old need 9-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night and youth 13-18 need 8-10 hours.

Kids imitate the adults in their lives. Be a role model for them by adopting these healthy habits so they can follow your lead. More tips? Click here.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/children/index.html