The medical definition of being overweight or obese is weighing more than you should for your height. And as Dr. Preeti Parikh explains, children fall under that umbrella now more than ever. In fact, childhood obesity rates (ages 6-11) have skyrocketed from 4% to 17% during the years between 1971 and 2006.
Overweight children are at risk for heart disease, joint problems, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and joint replacement. Some non-physical issues include poor self-esteem, social isolation and depression.
While it may seem daunting to get your child on the right track, Dr. Parikh lays out a plan that first involves a visit to your child’s pediatrician. The doctor will determine your child’s BMI, (body mass index) which is calculated using height, weight and gender. Once their BMI is identified, the doctor will be able to explain where your child ranks compared to his or her peers and set up a schedule that involves regular checkups to ensure your child’s health is being tracked closely.