One in five children in the United States are considered overweight or obese, and the extra weight doesn’t just affect them while they are young. Unhealthy habits can cause long-term health impacts that stretch into adulthood.
Children who are overweight or obese are at risk for a host of health problems that were once mainly seen in adults. Things like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease can all stem from being overweight or obese.
While the number of children who are overweight or obese is concerning, there are ways to help prevent these statistics from growing.
Encourage healthy eating habits from a young age by providing a variety of nutritious foods and keeping junk food out of the house.
Eliminate or minimize sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, flavored fruit drinks, sweet tea, chocolate milk, etc.
Keep fresh fruits and vegetables on-hand for snacks.
Be active with your children. Children are more likely to want to be active if a parent or guardian is active with them.
Aim for 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
Limit screen time so that is does not take the place of physical activity.
It is also important to schedule regular wellness exams with your child’s doctor. At these checkups the child receives a complete physical examination and the doctor will answer any questions and address any concerns you might have about your child’s development.
If your child does not have a primary care provider and you would like to establish care, please visit LexingtonClinic.com or call (859) 258-4362.
Agata Toborek, MD is board-certified in pediatrics. She provides services in general pediatrics and her professional interests include caring for children from the time they are newborns until they become young adults. Dr. Toborek is accepting new patients.
Lexington Clinic is Central Kentucky’s largest and oldest medical group. With 200+ providers in more than 30 specialties, we have been taking care of 600,000+ patients annually in the Lexington community since 1920.