Monday, May 28, 2007

Maintaining a healthy weight

In most cases, experts recommend that overweight children should not be encouraged to actually lose weight. Instead they should be encouraged to maintain their weight, so that they gradually "grow into it" as they get taller.

Children should never be put on a weight loss diet without medical advice as this can affect their growth. Unregulated dieting - particularly in teenage girls - is thought to lead to the development of eating disorders. For more information, see the separate BUPA health factsheets, Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia nervosa.

There isn't much evidence for the best ways to treat weight problems in children, but research indicates that focusing on making long-term improvements to diet and increasing physical activity may be the effective solution.

Helping children to achieve and maintain a healthy weight involves a threefold approach that encourages them to:

eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
make changes to eating habits
increase physical activity - in 2004 the Chief Medical Officer recommended at least 60 minutes of at least moderate physical activity a day for children
The good news is that it is probably easier to change a child's eating and exercise habits than it is to change an adult's.

BOOKMARK THIS POST

Maintaining a healthy weight

0 Comments

Monday, May 21, 2007

What is a healthy weight for a child?

You may find it difficult to tell whether your child has temporary "puppy fat" or is genuinely overweight. In adults, a simple formula (the body mass index, or BMI) is used to work out whether a person is the right weight for their height.

However, BMI alone is not an appropriate measure for children, because they are still growing. Factors such as rate of growth, age and sex, and the BMI of other children of the same age must be taken into account when assessing your child's weight. BMI is best interpreted with the help of your GP, health visitor, practice nurse or dietitian.

Labels:

BOOKMARK THIS POST

What is a healthy weight for a child?

1 Comments

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Why are more children overweight?

Very few children become overweight because of an underlying medical problem. Research indicates that children are more likely to be obese if their parents are obese. It isn't known whether this is because of genetic factors which the child inherits, if its because families tend to share eating and activity habits, or a combination of them both.

However, it's thought that most children put on excess weight because their lifestyles include an unhealthy diet and a lack of physical activity.

It is certainly easier than ever before for children to become overweight. High-calorie foods, such as fast food and confectionery, are abundant, relatively cheap and heavily promoted, specifically at children.

Exercise is no longer a regular part of everyone's day - some children never walk or cycle to school, or play any kind of sport. It is not unusual for children to spend hours in front of a television or computer. According to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2000), 4 out of 10 boys and 6 out of 10 girls do not do the minimum one hour a day of physical activity recommended by the then health education authority.

Labels:

BOOKMARK THIS POST

Why are more children overweight?

0 Comments

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

A serious problem: childhood obesity

Research shows that obese children are at increased risk from a number of serious health problems more usually seen in adulthood, including hardened and blocked arteries (coronary artery diseases), high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. When they grow up, they are more likely to be obese.

This means a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, type 2 diabetes, bowel cancer, and high blood pressure in adulthood. The risk of health problems increases the more overweight a person becomes.

Being overweight as a child can also cause psychological distress. Teasing about their appearance affects a child's confidence and self-esteem, and can lead to isolation and depression.

The number of overweight and obese children in the UK has risen steadily over the past 20 years. The obesity epidemic is now a major health concern.

Labels:

BOOKMARK THIS POST

A serious problem: childhood obesity

0 Comments

Friday, May 4, 2007

Childhood Obesity - What Factors Result In A Child Being Obese?

by Donald Saunders


As obesity rates continue to rise in the West it's perhaps no surprise that we are seeing more and more overweight children. But just what causes child obesity?

As is often the case that there is no single cause of childhood obesity and there are a number of different factors, often working in combination, which account for obesity in children.

It is often the case that a child whose parents are overweight or obese will also be overweight or obese and this suggests that there may be some genetic or inherited component to obesity. Although this is an area which is actively being studied, no clear genetic link has yet been established and it is felt far more likely that it is diet and eating habits within the family that result in obesity rather than genetics.

We have seen a considerable shift in eating habits over recent years with fast food restaurants springing up on every corner, junk food widely available and the shelves of our supermarkets lined with so-called 'convenience' foods which are often very high in sugar. The days of home cooked meals are long gone in many households, to be replaced by take-away food or microwave meals and many parents are also choosing to take their children out to eat rather than to prepare and clear meals at home.

We have also seen a dramatic drop in activity levels amongst many groups of children, fuelled in no small measure by the advent of home computers, video games and now the ever present mobile phone. As activity levels have dropped so children have lost their natural ability to burn off the calories gained from eating.

Television, the internet, magazines and other forms of media also play a role as these play an increasing part in the lives of our kids and fast food, junk food and confectionary manufacturers are not slow in jumping onto this particular bandwagon and making full use of the advertising opportunity that the media provides.

There are also clearly many psychological factors at play in our modern world and many children today will simply eat if they are bored. They will also turn to food if they find themselves under stress, angry, anxious or depressed.

Today a great deal of research is being aimed at the problem of child obesity and much of this is focused on solving the problem through diet and exercise once presented with an obese child. However, with obesity continuing to rise at such am alarming rate, perhaps the time has come to attack the roots of the problem to stop our children becoming obese in the first place.


About the Author
GastricBypassFacts.info is a growing resource center providing a wealth of information on obesity and morbid obesity as well as on various forms of gastric bypass surgery including the tradition Roux-en-Y operation and the latest laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding techniques.

BOOKMARK THIS POST

Childhood Obesity - What Factors Result In A Child Being Obese?

0 Comments