Obesity is a serious problem among American children, with both immediate and long-term health effects. The rate of obesity in our youth is rising at an alarming rate - nearly one in three American children is obese.
At Bassett Healthcare Network, we are passionate about educating and guiding our young patients in a healthy direction to adulthood. If you're concerned about your child's weight, make an appointment to speak one-on-one with your Bassett pediatrician about potential side effects it may be having on his or her health and the many options to help get them back on a healthy track. Our team is here to help make sure every child gets the active and healthy childhood they deserve.
See our helpful links below for national and local resources.
How do I know if my child is obese?
Obesity is defined as having an excessive amount of body fat for a child's age and height. You can calculate your child's body mass index (BMI), here.
Can you prevent childhood obesity?
Making healthy lifestyle choices can lower the risk of becoming obese. The two key components are nutrition and physical activity.
- Nutrition - Every child should eat a balanced diet. Not sure what constitutes a balanced meal? Check out the USDA's ChooseMyPlate resource for help in planning balanced meals, healthy tips, budget planning, and much more. This resource is for adults and children. We also has a nutritionist available to help map out your children's nutritional needs.
- Physical Activity - Children should strive to be physically active at least one hour each day. The more creative, the better! Encourage them to play tag, go on an adventure, hike, jump rope, build an obstacle course - the options are endless.
What are the effects of obesity?
Obese children are prone to:
- Bone and joint issues
- Sleep apnea
- Social problems
- Psychological problems
- Low self-esteem
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
Obese children are also more likely to be obese as adults. Obesity in adulthood leads to more long-term and serious health issues including cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.