children eatingMany parents express concern about their child’s weight. Considering that child obesity has tripled since 1970, such concern is understandable. But just because your child is carrying a few more pounds than his buddies doesn’t necessarily mean he is obese. Children come in all shapes and sizes. Some children have larger frames and bigger bones than others and will naturally weigh more. It is also normal for some children to carry extra weight at different stages of development. But some children do gain unnecessary weight that can affect their health. Addressing weight gain early can help prevent future health problems.

If you are concerned about your child’s weight, talk to his pediatrician. Your child’s growth charts will indicate whether his weight is proportional to his height, a more important measure than weight alone. For example, if you’re child’s weight and height are both in the 80th percentile; he may be bigger than 80% of the children in his class but is unlikely to have a weight problem. However, if your child’s weight is in the 80th percentile but his height is only in the 60th; you may want to talk to your child’s doctor about making healthy changes to his diet and activity level.

A study of obese children that compared three common diet plans – low carbohydrate, low glycemic, and portion control – found that children lost weight on all three plans but found it easier to follow the low-glycemic diet that emphasized whole grains, poultry and fruit.

At Horizon Education Centers, we serve nutritious meals and snacks and encourage plenty of physical activity to help children stay healthy.