Overweight children are at high risk of becoming overweight adolescents and adults. And this could lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes later in life. Also, many overweight kids face a myriad of social and emotional stress which includes negative body image, low self- confidence, and bullying from peers; all of which are extremely harmful to self-esteem and even academic performance.
So, if you’re concerned about your little one’s weight because of habits or genetics, there’s a lot you can do. And if you see that your child is experiencing emotional distress related to their weight, or is being bullied about their weight, it’s important to take this seriously.
First of all, weigh your words (pun intended) around the weight topic very, very carefully. Your child should never spend a minute of their childhood counting calories, watching their carbs, stressing about the scale, or paying close attention to the size of their clothes.
No diets during childhood. Not one. Not ever. It’s important that they know that their bodies need different kinds of nutrients and lots of fun movements to stay healthy. That’s it!
If you want your child to have a peaceful relationship with their body, you need to speak positively about every kind of body. Thin bodies. Bigger bodies. Disabled bodies …. all the bodies. Loving their outer shell is a great first step towards loving themselves enough to appreciate their worth.
That being said, as parents we absolutely want the best for our kids and research indicate that kids with a healthy weight tend to be fitter, healthier, more self-confident, and do better in school.
Our kids need and deserve to feel good about their bodies.
If you’ve made the necessary tweaks with regard to your family’s eating habits and physical activity, and you’re still worried about your little one’s weight, don’t hesitate to speak to your health care provider about the next step.
Source: nhs.uk, nddk.nih.gov, webmd.com, verywellfamily.com, todaysparent.com, lifespan.org, nytimes.com, health-e.org.za, scarymommy.com, parents.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.