8 Ways For Parents To Help Children Maintain A Healthy Weight: Fight Childhood Obesity


Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States putting children and adolescents at risk for poor health.


“Today one out of six American children are obese “ says Mayo clinic psychologist Dr. Bridget Biggs. 


Childhood obesity rates have increased 10-fold since the ’70s.


Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile of the CDC sex-specific BMI-for-age growth charts.


As per Boston Children’s Hospital , the leading causes of childhood obesity are – diet high in sugar sweetened beverages and ultra processed food which is concentrated in calories and has zero nutritional value, physical inactivity which includes increased time spent as screen time, and lastly but not the least sleep deprivation.





Why is it important to take steps to prevent our children becoming overweight and obese?


Obesity is related to multiple medical and mental disorders as per current and past research.

Preventing Childhood Obesity- 

1) Eating Better, Moving More



  • Image result for children running images image credit pixabay


  • The new documentary film, “Bite Size”, follows four inspirational children as they struggle to slim down. Director, Corbin Billings, talks about America’s childhood obesity epidemic and the film’s “hopeful” message.


  • Listen to Corbin Billings on msnbc – ” There is a certain stigma attached to being overweight or heavy. These kids learn self-love and shed the emotional weight of always being different and ostracized because of it.”


2) How can we parents help?


Love, Family, Heart, Parent, Eternal Love, Mother image credit pixabay


  • Small progressive steps are much better than large ones that no one is willing to go along with.


  • Initiating small but consistent changes in dietary and lifestyle goes a long way. Make a plan as recommended by experts, set realistic deadlines to achieve mutually agreeable goals after discussing with your child’s physician and nutritionist. Teamwork is really the key to help your child.



  • Strong family support plays a pivotal role. 
  • This cannot be emphasized more. It is the most important step. Your child will need strong emotional support and guidance from you.


  • Self determination in children to be promoted by family membersAn example of self determination to continue on road towards healthier choices- With the help of her mother and the Healthy Hearts clinic at Children’s Hospital Oakland, Castro Valley teenager Lorena Ramos is fighting to lose weight. Will she succeed? See video


  • Limit TV/electronic gadget time;Junk food ads,games on websites and social media-Decrease TV /screen time. Skip the ads.Use DVDs or DVRs to skip the commercial. Watch and screen what your kids watch and play on the electronics.  See video.
  • White Male, 3D Model, Isolated, 3D, Model, Full Body image credit pixabay


  • Make rules for early preschool bedtimesPreschoolers who are regularly tucked into bed by 8 p.m. are far less likely to become obese teenagers than young children who go to sleep later in the evening, new research has found. Bedtimes after 9 p.m. appeared to double the likelihood of obesity later in life, according to a study from the Ohio State University College of Public Health.




  • Mattress, Bed, Pillow, Sleep, Relax, Relaxation, Rest image credit pixabay


  • Eat meals as a family.


  • Dining Table, Eating, Dinner, Breakfast, Fresh, Food image credit pixabay


  • Monitor the eating patterns of your child. You can ensure that they eat all of the food including the vegetables.  Behaviors associated with higher incidence of obesity include breakfast skipping, eating out,including fast food, increased portion sizes. Try to include healthy food and avoid eating fast food and have appropriate portion sizes for the kids as per their age and growth requirements. 


  • Set both individual and family goals. This will give you something to aim for and may provoke friendly competition which will help.


3) School-Based Initiatives


  • Recommendations regarding physical education in children-The Institute of Medicine report on childhood obesity prevention recommends ≥30 minutes of activity during each school day, as either PE classes or recess.



  • Let’s Move! Active Schools– Active Schools is a national movement to ensure that 60 minutes a day of physical educationand before, during, and after-school physical activity is the norm in K-12 schools throughout the United States. Let’s Move seeks to decrease childhood obesity to 5% by 2030.


  • Emily Vall, the Project Manager for Georgia Shape and Teresa Wheeler, a Physical Education teacher describes the impact of Georgia’s Student Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) Act in schools around the state. The law requires K-12 students to take an annual fitness assessment. This requirement helped to integrate 30 minutes of physical activity into the school day and aligns with CDC’s Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program.
  • Listen to Emily Vall


The most important step as parents we can take is to start healthy habits regarding food, sleep and exercise at home. We ourselves have to set an example for our children to follow.


The really important step is keep on trying to do the above steps and do not quit doing the right thing!  Be persistent and be patient.





One Response

  1. katy says:

    Thank you for writing this detailed blog!
    Keep up the great work

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