Weight Management in Children - Everything You Need to Know

Weight Management in Children - Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Tots N Teens Pediatrics on Sep 15 2021, 08:03 AM

Weight Management in Children - Everything You Need to Know

One of the severe medical conditions that almost one-third of children face in the United States is childhood obesity, putting them at an increased risk for many long-term health issues. Obesity can cause various health issues that include elevated cholesterol, orthopedic issues, type 2 diabetes mellitus, polycystic ovary disease, and obstructive sleep apnea. Besides, those with childhood obesity have more risk of being obese as adults as well, having to face obesity-related difficulties for all their life. 

What Are the Major Factors That Cause Childhood Obesity? 

Obesity can be a result of various factors like environment, diet, physical activity, sleep, biological factors, hormonal issues, genetics, or a combination of these. It is important to detect and address childhood obesity and its root cause at the earliest to help reverse them.

How Do We Diagnose Childhood Obesity?

At Tots and Teens Pediatrics, we assess the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the child to diagnose obesity. When the child's weight is abnormally high for his age and height as compared to other children of the same age and gender, we say he/she has childhood obesity. 

Comparison is made based on the following criterion: 

  • Normal weight:Between 5th and 84th percentile
  • Overweight:Between 85th and 94th percentile
  • Obesity: Above 95th percentile
  • Severe obesity:120% of the 95th percentile

If it is seen that your child has increasing percentiles, it is recommended to consult a pediatrician about weight management.

Why Childhood Obesity Is a Matter of Concern?

As we have already seen, children with untreated obesity can become obese adults having the following complications:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Headache
  • High blood pressure
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver 
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Depression and anxiety

Tips to Prevent Childhood Obesity 

By helping children maintain healthy lifestyles, it is possible to manage children's weight and prevent childhood obesity. 

Here are a few ways that will help to prevent the development of obesity in children:

  • Exclude sugar-sweetened beverages from your child's diet.
  • Have regular meal patterns. Include a minimum of one portion of fruits and/or vegetables with every meal.
  • Eliminate high-calorie foods like fast and fried foods.
  • Give age-appropriate portion sizes to the child.
  • Limit TV and mobile screen time.
  • Allow the child to have at least one hour of active play or physical activity every day.
  • Set a proper bedtime routine and an age-appropriate sleep pattern for your child.
  • Do not give smartphones, computers, or tablets to your child before bedtime.

Treatment for Childhood Obesity

At Tots and Teens, we will conduct a thorough evaluation of the obese child to rule out any underlying medical condition. If the child is found medically fit, we will evaluate their food habit and lifestyle, suggest changes, and will monitor their body mass index (BMI) on a regular basis.

Furthermore, we will refer obese children with complications to attend nutritional and behavioral counseling or weight management program. Our treatment plan mainly centers around analyzing the child's diet and recommends changes in the diet and lifestyle activities.

At Tots n Teens Pediatrics, our expert team can help obese children maintain a healthy weight by providing individualized care and attention while they are young. We also offer personalized family-based nutritional evaluation and counseling to address the issue to prevent obesity-related complications. 

If you doubt your child is obese, bring them into Tots N Teens Pediatrics. Call us to know more


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