Have you or your child been told that you are overweight or obese? You are not alone! In the US more than 9 million children between the ages of 6 and 19 are overweight. Obesity and overweight are not words that should be used to make you feel badly. These terms are defined by calculations of your Body Mass Index (BMI). Obesity is defined by a BMI at/above the 95th percentile and overweight is defined by a BMI at/above the 85th percentile but below the 95th percentile. For more information on how to calculate BMI and where these numbers come from, see the CDC website on defining childhood obesity.
This information is organized to help you and your family to make positive changes toward improved health. Please let us know if there are additional ways that we might assist you in your efforts!
Some basic steps that every family can take to be healthier:
- To be healthy ALL people (regardless of age group) should eat 5 servings of fruits or vegetables every day
- Children/teens should have 60 minutes of exercise daily
- Children/teens should limit screen time (TV, video games, computer-time) to no more than 2 hours per day
Additional tips for success:
- Eliminate sodas and juices from your diet (water and low fat milk should be your only beverages)
- It is never too early to learn portion control (teach children to read packages and count out an appropriate serving)
- Limit eating out as much as possible and then plan ahead to decide where you will eat and what foods you will choose
- Eat as a family as often as possible
- Eliminate “mindless” eating or grazing in front of the TV or while doing homework. Make a family rule that eating occurs only in the kitchen/dining areas of your home and while seated at the table.
Don’t get frustrated or overwhelmed! Pick one or two of the suggestions above and work on them to achieve success then branch out. Good Luck and Good Health!