Tom Harte: Hi! I am Tom Harte, Board Member of the National Association of Health Underwriters. Today, I am discussing how to help overweight children and the importance of promoting a healthy lifestyle. Many kids are spending less time exercising and more time in front of the TV, computer or playing video games. Today's busy families have less time to prepare nutritious, home cooked meals. Quick and easy is a reality for many American families. Overweight children should not be put on a diet unless a physician recommends one.
A restrictive diet may not supply the energy and nutrients needed for normal growth and development. For most very young children, the focus should be to maintain current weight while the child grows normally in height. Parents can help prevent childhood obesity by providing healthy meals and snacks, daily physical activity, the nutrition education.
Increased physical activity reduces health risks and helps weight management. Nutrition education helps young children develop an awareness of good nutrition and healthy eating habits for a life time. The best way to fight and prevent childhood obesity and weight problems is to get the whole family involved. Making better food choices and becoming more active will benefit everyone regardless of weight. With the whole family involved, it will be much easier for your overweight child to make lasting changes.