We all love babies with a little baby fat, but even though it does look cute, childhood obesity and weight gain is a serious issue that can affect your child’s overall health, even in the future years.
Any toddler and child can be overweight, and sometimes, it can be difficult to understand the same as a parent. So it is very important that you speak to your child’s paediatrician and understand how they can best track your child’s weight.
Understanding BMI in relation to overweight and obesity
While earlier doctors would take your child’s weight and height, these days, paediatricians are also trying to check on children’s BMI (Body Mass Index). The BMI measures the amount of body fat based on weight and height. This is a very accurate way to find out the exact amount of fat in the body, and will help understand if a child is actually overweight or obese.
If the BMI percentile comes between 85 and 95, it indicates overweight, and if it comes at 95 or above, it indicates obesity.
How to tackle the situation:
Now that you know your child may be overweight or obese, here are some tips that can help.
1. Work together as a family: Your child will benefit if the entire family can start eating and living healthy. If you ask your child not to eat junk, or spend more time in some physical activity, it is important to set an example yourself. Stop buying any junk food, and engage in actual games and sports.
2. Be direct but gently: Tell your child about the problem and help them understand how it can affect their overall health, now and later. Being direct does not mean you have to call your child fat. Tell them they have a little more weight than they should at this age, and doing simple and fun things such as playing and planning and eating a healthy and delicious meal can easily help reduce that weight. Say that the entire family needs to eat better, and do so.
3. Move more: With our busy lives, we often tend to ignore the benefits of daily physical activity, such as walking. Instead of taking the car, start walking with your child to nearby areas, and even for trips to the local market. Download walk tracking apps and show them how much they walked. This can be an inspiring way to get them on their feet.
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