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Healthy eating and physical activity habits are key to your child’s well being. Eating too much and exercising too little may lead to being overweight and related health problems that may follow children into their adult years. You can take an active role to help your child — and your whole family — learn healthy eating and physical activity habits that last a lifetime.
Children grow at different rates, so it’s not always easy to tell if your child is at a healthy weight. Overweight is defined differently for children and teens than it is for adults. Ask your child’s doctor to tell you whether your child is at a healthy weight.
At your child’s regular checkups, the doctor will look at body mass index (BMI) and growth charts to determine if he or she is within healthy weight limits. Children are usually considered overweight if their BMI is at or above the 85th percentile. Children with a BMI in the 95th percentile or higher are considered obese.
If your child is overweight, it’s important for you to address the problem. That’s because overweight kids are at risk for developing adult health and behavior problems, including:
Plus, unlike their slimmer peers, they’re more likely to develop serious health problems down the road, such as heart disease.
The Skinny on Childhood Obesity
Just how serious a problem is childhood obesity? Consider these facts and figures:
Diet and Exercise
Focus on providing nutritious meals and snacks and teaching healthy food choices. You can do this by:
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's nutrition services or to find a Sharp-affiliated physician, search for San Diego doctors or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about nutrition, read the Nutrition News archive.