CONDITIONS WE MANAGE

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. Hence, being a healthy family role model is an important foundation for children. 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  
- Decreased quality of life
- 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. Following this, I will be providing suitable main meal options, with particular attention given to portion sizes and meal components.

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. This will particularly help with motivation and improved self-esteem. In addition, I have also had experience in incorporating children’s preferences when selecting foods according to texture and/or colour when working alongside autism spectrum disorder.

FURTHER READING

- Healthy Eating for Children
- Raising Children

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HOW A DIETITIAN CAN HELP WITH CHILDHOOD OBESITY?

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