Making a healthy diet and increased physical
activity a family affair gives an overweight child a better chance to drop some
Guidelines for Managing Children's Weight
Flores September 23, 2005
Parents concerned about their children's weight problems can now
access a free bilingual brochure, thanks to the efforts of Agricultural
Research Service (ARS) scientists at the
Children's Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
in Houston, Texas.
"Your Child's Weight: Help Your Child With Successful Weight
Management" outlines common causes for why children are overweight, and offers
suggestions on how to deal with the weight problem as a family. It presents
strategies for success and provides a list of additional resources for families
to utilize. The brochure was originally developed by registered dietitian Joan
Carter, formerly with CNRC. Carter collected data from health databases and
nutrition experts and was assisted by several CNRC staffers, including
Weight-management programs for children and adults differ greatly.
With adult programs, the main focus is on weight loss through increased
physical activity and a healthier diet. With programs for overweight children
and adolescents, the focus is not on weight loss, but rather on keeping weight
stable while the child grows taller and more muscular over time.
The overweight child has much better success when the family as a
whole adopts healthy eating behaviors and increases physical activity. The
brochure suggests that parents serve as role models and a support system, while
participating in their child's weight-management program.
For example, health experts recommend that most children should have
at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity daily. "Your Child's Weight"
lists fun ways for the family to get involved in activities such as roller
skating or softball, frisbee or croquet. Also encouraged is involvement in
community or other group activities such as hiking trails and going to swimming
pools and skating rinks.
"Your Child's Weight" is available in English and Spanish on the World
Wide Web at:
The CNRC is operated by the Baylor
College of Medicine in cooperation with ARS and the
Texas Children's Hospital.
ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
chief in-house scientific research agency.