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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.


Healthy Behaviors:

  • 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






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Last update: Tuesday, December 09, 2008



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