You asked

What can I do to help my child lose weight?

Being overweight as a child can be a predictor to being overweight as an adult. Although this is not the case always, an overweight child is more at risk of developing health problems in the future. Addressing the problem early is the key to making sure that your child stays at a healthy weight.

If you really feel that your child is overweight and the problem needs medical help, see a doctor. They will evaluate your child’s weight by considering the above mentioned factors as well as their place on the standard growth chart. To make this determination, a child’s body mass index (BMI) will be calculated. If your child’s BMI is above the 85th percentile on the growth chart, they are considered overweight. If the BMI is in the 95th percentile, that is considered obese.

A doctor may then run tests to make sure that there are no medical problems causing the weight problem. The doctor will then direct you to see a dietician who can help you put together a diet and exercise routine that will help your child lose weight.

There are also things you should do around the house to help your child’s weight problem:

•    Limit the amount of high calorie foods that are readily available to your child.
•    Do not let your child eat while watching television as they will tend to not pay attention to how full they are and just keep eating.
•    Eliminate high calorie drinks like lemonades and fruit juice. Save these drinks for special occasions.
•    Pack your child’s snacks when you go out. That way you won’t be tempted to get something from a vending machine.
•    Encourage physical activity. Limit television and computer time and go for a walk with your child.

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