A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Obesity: A Road Map to Health by Dr. Sandra G. Hassink (editor-in-chief).

Monday, October 15, 2012 @ 02:10 AM
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Tracking of obesity from childhood into adulthood begins as early as 2 years of age.

For children 2 years or older, BMI (Body Mass Index)-for-age is used to assess overweight.

TV timeout: Get away from the TV and computer screens. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children younger than two not watch television at all; for older children, screen time should be limited to no more than one to two hours a day.

Did you know that every commercial is an opportunity to exercise with your child. All television shows have at lease 4 commercials each lasting 3 to 4 minutes. That is 12-16 minutes of exercise in just a 30 minute span of time. Play chase or duck-duck goose or Simon-says and before you know it your back watching your favorite show together.

Eat meals away from the TV and together at the table. This will help establish healthy eating habits and provides a good way to keep portions in check. Using the children’s portion plate at meals and snacks can help parents serve a healthy meal.

On the move: Get your children moving around. Anything that involves movement qualifies as physical activity.  Small, everyday measures can help, such as parking your car away from a store and walking, taking the steps rather than an elevator, and walking the dog.

For the fun of it: Find fun ways to be physically active inside and outside. Many children enjoy activities sponsored by your community’s parks and recreation department, such as soccer, basketball, football and swimming. There are many individual sports activities, such as horseback riding, martial arts, dancing and golf.


This article was featured in Healthy Children Magazine.