Help your child – and your whole family – eat healthy and stay physically active. The healthy habits your child learns now can last a lifetime.
What can I do to help my child stay at a healthy weight?
Help your child stay at a healthy weight by balancing what your child eats with physical activity. Two of the best ways to prevent your child from becoming overweight or obese are to:
- Help your child eat healthier foods
- Be more physically active as a family
You are a role model.
Parents are often the most important role models for children. When you choose to eat right and be physically active, your child will be more likely to make those choices, too.
Eating healthy and getting active as a family will also help you spend more quality time together.
Why do I need to worry about my child’s weight?
Being overweight or obese as a child can lead to serious problems, like:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep problems
- Low self-esteem
- Getting bullied
Learn more about health problems and childhood obesity.
Being overweight as a child increases the risk of being overweight or obese as an adolescent and young adult. In other words, many kids don’t “grow out of” being overweight.
Today, most adults – and about 1 in 3 children – are overweight or obese.
How do I know if my child at a healthy weight?
Finding out your child’s body mass index (BMI) is the best way to learn if he or she is at a healthy weight.
Children grow at different rates, so it’s not always easy to tell if your child is at a healthy weight. Healthy weight is also defined differently for children and teens than it is for adults.
Ask your child’s doctor or nurse whether your child is at a healthy weight. You can also use this BMI calculator for children and teens if you know your child’s height and weight.
What if my child is overweight or obese?
Successful weight management programs for kids include counseling and education about eating a healthy diet and being physically active. Parents have an important role to play in these programs, too.
Talk to your child’s doctor or nurse for more information.