Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity

Overweight and obesity are terms used to describe children who have too much body fat or an abnormal amount of body fat. Obesity is a more serious type of overweight. Childhood obesity needs to be tackled at an early age, as an obese child is more likely to be obese in adulthood. 

Many reasons have impacted on childhood obesity such as changes to food type, availability, affordability, marketing and a reduction in physical activity.  It is also crucial to note that some children may be at an increased risk of childhood obesity due to genes that make them gain weight more easily. Also certain health problems or certain medications can unintentionally increase weight.

Childhood obesity can result in:

- Increased cholesterol
- Fatty liver
- Insulin resistance
- Impaired fasting glucose or diabetes
- Gallstones  
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Low self-esteem and other social problems such as bullying
- Breathing problems such as asthma and sleep apnoea
- Reflux
- Joint problems and muscle pain

how can I help?

Initially, I will outline improvements to meet current Australian Children’s Guidelines. Focus will begin by substituting high calorie snacks with healthier lunchbox alternatives. Essentially, a healthy family role model is an important foundation for children. In reference to childhood obesity, attention is NOT given to weight loss but rather focus is given to preventing further weight gain. This is to avert future eating disorders and to ensure a healthy relationship with food is built.

It is vital that the constituents of label reading are also understood. Attention will be given to setting short-term and long-term goals, resulting in improved habits. Improving diet quality will help in instances such as choosing suitable takeaway options, limiting high sugar beverages and incorporating occasional snacks. I will also discuss portion sizes, as many children are eating the right types of food but just in larger than necessary quantities. Focus will also be given to ensuring low fat dairy options as well as suitable fruit and vegetable serves.

Book an appointment to learn more about how a qualified dietitian can help you manage childhood obesity.


- Healthy Eating for Children
- Raising Children


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