Last Updated on August 12, 2022 by Rebecca Huff
The epidemic of obese and overweight children in the US
In the United States, around 18.5% of children ages 2-19 are considered obese. One in three children in the US is deemed to be overweight.
Children with a body mass index-for age percentile higher than 95% are “affected by obesity” and “overweight” if the BMI-for-age percentile is more than 85% but less than 95%. Your pediatrician can measure your child's weight in terms of percentile, or you can use this chart to determine it for yourself.
Genetics may play a role in obesity; however, genes account for less than 5% of cases of childhood obesity. 2
Children learn by modeling parents' and peers' preferences, intake, and willingness to try new foods. Availability of, and repeated exposure to, healthy foods is key to developing preferences and can overcome the dislike of foods. 3
Overweight and obese children are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, sleep apnea, and even cancer at a younger age. 4 Obesity also affects a child's mental health. Children who are obese may experience lower self-esteem.
The three E's of addressing overweight and obesity in children are Environment, Exercise, and Eating.
Reduce screen time and make physical activity a priority. Consider an extracurricular activity such as dance or martial arts, that requires a child to move their body more to address the environment and exercise.
The more complicated aspect of overweight and obese children is what they eat.
In this episode of A Healthy Bite, I am chatting with Adita Lang, who is on a mission to inspire families to live life with their true potential in the forefront.
Adita is the author of Super Powers, A Busy Woman's Guide to Health and Happiness, and the book we are discussing today: Super Powers of the Family Kitchen. Find out more about Adita's programs on her website.
Adita has a recipe section on her site that can be helpful for parents who are looking for healthier options.
Growing an Adult from Scratch – Kids Snacks that rock!
“Feed your kids nutrient dense foods and they will reap the benefits of amazing growth and development!” Food for your kids needs to be packed with nutrients, protein, and quality fats. Nutrients for growth and development, and fat and protein to stabilize blood sugars and maintain mental alertness and focus. Here are some fun treats that “hide” some of the best parts – Your kids will find them tasty and you will find them powerful!
Show notes and questions we discuss on this episode
How can parents go about being their family's food coach?
What do you find is the most common misconception or misunderstanding when it comes to nutrition facts and packaging claims?
Explain dairy as a food group concerning how it metabolizes.
You have a chapter on creating a Family Food Plan that is not like a traditional diet; you call it a Live-It. Can you explain the concept and then the process.
Let's talk about kids and emotional eating – what are some guidelines for parents.
Adita Yrizarry-Lang is a nutritional guru, mind-body coach, an advocate for healthy living and author who has devoted more than 30 years to the wellness industry. She has been featured in Shape and Fitness magazines and has had fitness products for sale through TJ Maxx and Marshalls.
Adita holds a degree in holistic nutrition, is a Lv3 holistic lifestyle coach through the Chek Institute, and has been accredited by several health organizations. She has trained thousands of fitness professionals worldwide and often speaks at schools, Fortune 500 companies, and private organizations on the benefits of quality foods, longevity, and amazing health.
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Sources on obesity:
1 – Prevalence of Childhood Obesity in the United States
2,3 – Childhood Obesity: Causes and Consequences
4 – Childhood Obesity: A Major Health Concern