I think my young child is overweight, what can I do?
First determine your child’s BMI by using the CDC, BMI for age and gender growth charts found at:
The goal for children between the ages of 2 to 7 years old that are considered “at risk” for being overweight (BMI in the 85th-94th percentile) or who are overweight (BMI > 95th percentile) is weight maintenance. If they have a BMI that is greater than the 95th percentile and they are experiencing complications, the goal is weight loss but no more than one pound a month. Secondary complications to monitor include, orthopedic problems, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and high blood lipid levels. Adopting healthy behaviors as a family can help your overweight child.
- Be more physically active.
- Spend less time watching TV.
- Spend less time playing computer and video games.
- Eat more family meals together.
- Eat a healthy breakfast.
- Eat more colorful vegetables and fruits.
- Drink less soda and sweetened fruit drinks.
- Eat less sweets and salty snacks.
Candance Gabel, M.S. R.D., Assistant Program Director, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Tuesday, December 09, 2008