As parents, we want the best for our children. We want them to be healthy, happy kids which will extend into adulthood.
Kids today are heavier now than they have ever been. Why? Today’s children are drinking too many sweetened beverages such as soda and boxed fruit punches.
Also, today children are eating too much fast food and are eating the majority of their meals without adult supervision.
They are also spending too much time in front of a video screen and are not active enough. Fewer kids are playing outside or riding their bikes like they did just a decade ago.
These changes need to start at home and therefore the entire family needs to be involved.
Medical providers are concerned because an overweight child has an increase risk of developing cardiovascular disease, joint problems, diabetes and some forms of cancer as an adult.
As a matter of fact, experts now believe that one out of every two kids born today will develop diabetes if the current trend continues.
How do you know if your child is a little heavy or obese? Using the height, weight, age and gender of the child, your doctor can calculate your child’s Body Mass Index, or BMI.
For example, a 9-year-old boy who is 53 inches tall and weighs 70 pounds has a BMI of 17.5, which is considered healthy.
However, a 9-year-old boy at the same height but weighing 80 pounds would be considered overweight.
This formula is not perfect but it gives us a rough idea of where the child is so the risk for diabetes can be predicted.
So, tonight have a healthy dinner together with no soda and then go for a walk as a family instead of watching TV. By doing so, you will have addressed several important issues leading to childhood obesity.
Now, wasn’t that easy?
Justin Marquis is a Physician Assistant at Fallbrook Medical Associates/Rancho Family Medical Group in Fallbrook. For more information, visit http://www.ranchofamilymed.com. Appointments can be made by calling (760) 728-8344.