Obesity means having too much body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. Both terms mean that a person's weight is greater than what is considered healthy for his or her height. Children grow at different rates, so it isn't always easy to know when a child is obese or overweight. Ask your doctor to measure your child's height and weight to determine if he or she is in a healthy range.
If a weight-loss program is necessary, involve the whole family in healthy habits so your child doesn't feel singled out. You can encourage healthy eating by serving more fruits and vegetables and buying fewer sodas and high-calorie, high-fat snack foods. Physical activity can also help your child overcome obesity or being overweight. Kids need about 60 minutes each day.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
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|Date last updated: 12 September 2008
Topic last reviewed: 24 April 2008