5 Ways You Can Help an Overweight Child

September 15, 2014 9:35 PM

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5 Ways You Can Help an Overweight Child

While scrolling through my timeline on Facebook last week, I came across a post about a child who had been put on a "cleanse" to lose weight. I cannot tell you how that made my blood boil!! That poor child! It's hard enough to be an overweight child when all you want to be as an adolescent is the same as everyone else. Not to mention the shame that goes along with being put on an extreme diet of protein shakes and "snack" bars. How do you explain to your friends that you are having a protein shake for lunch while they enjoy a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread or Greek yogurt with berries? Even children who are diagnosed as obese are not put on a "diet" by health professionals, let alone a cleanse. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that children who are classified as overweight or obese maintain their current weight and only attempt to lose weight through calorie restriction if other risk factors for disease are present. If that is the case, then a healthy and appropriate diet is prescribed by a Registered Dietitian. It is imperative that all children eat nutrient-dense foods each day. Cleanses, even the best of them, do not contain the appropriate nutrients needed for a growing child. If your child has been diagnosed as overweight or obese by a licensed physician, you may ask to be referred to a Registered Dietitian for guidance. But in the meantime, here are some helpful tips for helping an overweight or obese child reach a healthy body weight.

The best way to have a child reach their healthy body weight (as determined by a Medical Doctor (MD) or Registered Dietitian (RD)) is through physical activity. That's right, no extreme calorie restriction needed. Kids are lucky; they grow up, literally. Stabilizing weight gain while burning excess ...

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