What is Childhood Obesity?
It’s when there is an excess of body fat to an extent that health and wellbeing is or will become affected. There is a much higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure at a much younger age. It is one of the most serious health challenges facing us. About 1 in 4 children are thought to be overweight or obese in Ireland and this number is increasing every year.
How do I know if my child is a healthy weight for their age?
If you are a parent and are overweight, there is evidence that it is more likely that your child is or will become overweight – aim to set a good example and check out how you measure up and if you are a healthy adult weight .
Ask yourself what age is my child? What age clothes to I have to buy to fit them especially around the chest and waist? If you need to buy clothes that are for a much older child or if you have to by an adult size there’s a good chance that your child is overweight.
What should I do?
Acknowledging that there is an issue is a very important first step. Many parents tell me they are worried that raising the issue with their child will increase the chance of an eating disorder developing. Many parents feel very embarrassed and guilty that their child is overweight. With the proper guidance and support there are a number of simple and practical ways of tackling these issues and moving forward. Ignoring the issues or doing nothing in the hope that things will change on their own does not work. Look for help – it is out there! Your GP can check if a child’s weight is causing any health problems and if any further investigations are needed. There is lots of good free information available to get you started on what to eat, getting active, school lunches and healthy family lifestyle.
How do I talk to my child about their weight?
What can NutriKids do?
I am qualified to assess and counsel overweight children and their families. I can teach you what to do and why; I can empower you to make the changes needed – I cannot do it for you but if you can answer yes to all of the following then I can help you:
- my child’s body mass index (BMI) is outside the healthy range?
- the whole family and all those involved in the care of my child are ready and willing to change?
- any changes to diet, lifestyle and physical activity that are needed will be made for the long term?
- your child needs an accumulation of at least 60 minutes each day of physical activity on at least 6 days every week for the long term – you will support this?
All management plans will be practical and tailored to suit each child and their family’s circumstances, lifestyle and budget. Please contact me to arrange a consultation.