Unchecked childhood obesity problems can affect your child throughout life.
With more than one-third of our American children overweight these days, it’s not difficult to see there’s a nation-wide epidemic. However, it can be extremely challenging for parents to recognize that their own children have a weight problem.
Comparing your child to classmates or peers just doesn’t work anymore. Most adults think of children who fall into healthy weight ranges as “too skinny” these days, because they look so much smaller in comparison to overweight and obese friends. More than half of parents cannot identify their own child as overweight.
Often, parents feel that, while their child is “a bit chunky” today, it will take just one good growth spurt to “even things out”. In reality, 2 of out 3 kids who are overweight as children will be chronically overweight as adults. When a child is identified as being overweight, more than a third of parents don’t take it seriously.
We at Alzein Pediatrics take childhood obesity very seriously. Both health and social problems mount when children are overweight. They are at risk for diabetes, bone and joint problems, heart disease, sleep apnea, asthma, depression and more – and not just in the distant future, but as children. As they grow into overweight adults, the risk of many types of cancer is increased. Children who are overweight have a harder time being physically active, which further compounds the problem.
The very best way to ensure that your child is at a healthy weight is by asking your pediatrician. At each appointment with Alzein Pediatrics, your doctor or PA tracks your child’s growth and can spot unhealthy trends quickly. For instance, if your 4-year-old is at 50% of the national average of height, she should fall within the 45% to 55% range for weight. If we see percentages that don’t “match up”, that is a cause for concern.
At Alzein Pediatrics, we can help your child get to a healthy weight and set good habits that will last a lifetime. Through regular appointments, we’ll discuss food and drink choices, talk about physical activity, and track progress.
One of the best ways to help keep your child healthy now and as an adult is to support and encourage healthy eating habits, healthy physical activity patterns, and a healthy weight.
At Alzein Pediatrics, we can see what parents may be missing – and help them see the solution.