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Helping Your Child Lose Weight

Helping Your Child Lose Weight

Support & Advice for Parents
Helping Your Child Lose Weight

Obesity rates among reception and year 6 students rose by 4.5 percentage points between 2019-20 and 2020-21, the greatest annual increase since the National Child Measurement Programme began. The source of these figures must be ascribed to NHS Digital.

Weight-related health and medical concerns are less common in children than in adults. Obese children, on the other hand, are at a higher risk of becoming obese adolescents and adults. This could lead to chronic ailments later in life, such as heart disease and diabetes. Stress, unhappiness, and low self-esteem are also more common in them.

What’s Causing Obesity in Children?

Obesity and overweight in children can occur for a variety of reasons. Genetic factors, a lack of physical activity, bad eating habits, or a combination of these factors are the most typical reasons. Being overweight is only caused by a medical ailment, such as a hormonal disorder, in a minority of cases. Obesity may be caused by a medical disease, which can be ruled out with a physical exam and some blood tests.

Despite the fact that obesity runs in families, not all children with a family history of obesity and children will be obese. Children with overweight parents or siblings are more likely to become overweight themselves, however, this can be connected to shared family practices like eating and physical activity.

The diet and exercise level of a child are crucial factors in establishing his or her weight. Many children nowadays spend a significant amount of time sedentary. For example, the average child watches television for roughly 4 hours every day. When computers and video games are included, the number of hours spent inactive may rise.

Is it Possible to Prevent Obesity in My Child?

If you’re worried that your child is at risk for obesity due to habits or genetics, you can take steps to prevent it:

  • Make sure your child’s meals are healthful, with a fat content of 30% or less.
  • Your child’s appetite should be respected. It is not necessary for children to complete everything on their plates or the entire bottle.
  • Before serving a second time, wait at least 15 minutes.
  • Avoid high-sodium snacks as well as high-sugar foods and beverages.
  • Make sure you get adequate fibre.
  • Keep the amount of high-calorie foods in the house to a minimum.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables should be readily available.
  • Don’t give sweet sweets as a reward for finishing a meal.
  • When your child is around 2 years old, or 1 year old if you are concerned about obesity, switch to skim milk.
  • Limit your viewing of television and other non-school-related material. Watching TV during meals or snacks is not a good idea.
  • Encouraging your child to participate in sports will also be helping your child lose weight.

What Are the Signs That My Child Is Overweight?

Your child’s doctor is the best individual to identify whether or not your child is overweight. Your child’s weight and height will be measured, and their BMI, or body mass index, will be calculated and compared to industry standards. Your child’s age and growth patterns will also be taken into account by the doctor.

Helping Your Child Lose Weight

If you have an overweight child, you must show them that you care. Children’s self-perceptions are frequently shaped by their parents’ perceptions of them. Your children will be more likely to feel good about themselves if you accept them at any weight. It’s also crucial to talk to your kids about their weight and allow them to express their concerns. Your child’s doctor can also assist you in determining an appropriate weight for your child’s height. The doctor can even set you up on a schedule to help you reach your goal weight.

You can take the following steps to take your child’s weight reduction seriously:

  • Make a plan. Children’s weight loss goals, like adult weight loss goals, should be feasible while yet allowing for appropriate growth. Small weight loss targets should be set so that the child does not become discouraged or overwhelmed. A 5- to 10-pound weight loss, or 1 to 4 pounds each month, is an acceptable beginning target. Some doctors are more concerned with avoiding gaining weight than with losing weight, in order for weight to catch up with predicted height gains.
  • Record a Food Journal. Keep a food journal with your child. This should include not just the sort and quantity of food consumed, but also the location in which it was consumed and who else was there. The diary isn’t designed to assist you to keep track of how many calories you’ve consumed. Rather, it is helpful in deciding what to consume.
  • Diet. Consult your child’s paediatrician to make sure he or she is eating a well-balanced diet. Consider working with a dietician as well.
  • Physical activity is important. Exercise is a necessary component of any long-term weight loss programme. To prevent discouraging the child, start small. Work up to 20 to 30 minutes per day of moderate, and preferably enjoyable, activity. That’s on top of what your child receives at school. Making it enjoyable and varied will help to establish patterns that will last a lifetime.
  • Changing one’s behaviour. It’s critical to assist your child in developing the skills necessary to change the behaviours that may be creating the weight problem. Consider seeing a nutritionist with your child.
  • Parental responsibilities. Limit the quantity of processed, sugary, and fattening foods in your home, eat all meals at the dinner table at set times, and discourage second helpings to aid your child.

Focus on progressively adjusting exercise and eating habits if your family’s routines need to be tweaked. Everyone is taught healthy habits by including the entire family, and the overweight child does not feel singled out.

How Can I Encourage My Family to Develop Healthy Habits?

It is beneficial to involve the entire family in healthy behaviours. Increasing physical activity in the family is especially important. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including:

  • Set a good example. Your children will be more inclined to be active and stay active for the rest of their life if they see you being physically active and having fun.
  • Plan family activities that everyone can participate in, such as walking, biking, or swimming.
  • Be aware of your child’s requirements. Overweight children may be hesitant to participate in certain activities. It’s critical to assist your youngster in finding fun physical activities that aren’t too difficult or embarrassing.
  • Reduce the amount of time you and your family spend doing things like watching TV or playing video games.
  • Make nutritious meals with your family on a regular basis, and shop for healthy foods together.

Is It Worth It to Enrolling My kid on a Child Weight Loss Plan?

If your efforts at home fail to help your kid attain a healthy weight, and your doctor believes your child’s health may be jeopardised unless they lose weight steadily, you may want to consider enrolling your child in a structured weight loss programme. A weight loss program’s overall purpose should be to assist the entire family in adopting good food and physical activity habits.

When selecting a weight-loss programme for your child, bear the following in mind:

  • Work with a diverse group of health care providers. Registered nutritionists, exercise physiologists, paediatricians or family doctors, and psychiatrists or psychologists may be included in the finest programmes.
  • Perform a medical evaluation of your child. Before enrolling in a programme, a doctor should examine your child’s weight, growth, and health. During enrollment, a health expert should check your child’s weight, height, growth, and health at regular intervals.
  • Focus on the entire family. Not just the overweight child.
  • Tailor to the child’s individual age and abilities: When it comes to the obligations of the kid and parents, 4-year-old programmes differ from those intended for youngsters aged 8 or 12.
  • Concentrate on behavioural changes. Teach the youngster how to choose a range of healthful foods in proper portions. Encourage daily activity while limiting sedentary activities like watching television.
  • Include a weight-loss maintenance programme as well as other resources for support and referrals. This will reinforce the improved behaviours and address any underlying issues that may have contributed to the child’s obesity.

Is Weight Loss Surgery or Drug Therapy an Option for helping child lose weight?

Although clinical trials are underway, there are currently no weight loss drugs approved for use in children. Although surgical techniques for weight loss are commonly utilised in teenagers, their safety and effectiveness in youngsters have not been well investigated. Consult your child’s doctor to see if weight loss surgery is an option for him or her.

Whatever method you use for helping your child lose weight, the goal is to make living a healthy, active lifestyle enjoyable. Make the most of the opportunities you and your family have to alter things for the better.