Childhood Obesity


17% of children between ages 2 to 18 are overweight. Obesity is when a child’s weight affects their ability to live a normal, healthy and active life. Research has shown that overweight children are more likely to become overweight adults. Obesity affects every major bodily system and is the cause of many physical and psychological conditions including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, gastrointestinal problems, depression and social anxiety. A doctor generally makes the diagnosis of obesity by comparing body weight mass to height, weight and age. There are currently no medications to take to combat obesity.


  • Limited exercise
  • Excessive weight
  • Rationalizations, such as “I don’t know why I’m gaining so much weight.”
  • Fatigue
  • Poor diet, including eating a lot of fast food and comfort food
  • Overweight parents

What is normal?

It is normal for a child’s weight to fluctuate as they mature. Many children lose their “baby fat” when they hit puberty while others gain weight as they get older. What is a normal and healthy weight for one child is not normal for another. Children are still growing so parents must be careful not to put too much emphasis on weight, instead they should provide good role modeling and healthy choices.

When you should seek help:

You should seek help if your child:

  • Is excessively overweight and also has several of the following traits:
  • You can’t talk openly about diet and exercise
  • Does not eat healthy food
  • Becomes weak or easily fatigued
  • Is not involved in any physical activities
  • Has gastrointestinal problems
  • Is withdrawn
  • Watches more than three hours of TV a day
  • Wears oversized clothing and doesn’t like to shop for new clothes
  • Has low self-esteem

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