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Ask Accordia: I have noticed my daughter is heavier than most of her friends and other girls her age. I have struggled with weight myself, as most of the women in my family do. How do I know if my teen daughter is obese? What should I do now to help her?
First, let me start by saying, not all children carrying extra pounds are overweight or obese or will become obese. Some children have larger than average body frames, and children typically carry different amounts of body fat at the various stages of development. Also, your family’s weight-for-height history is an important factor.
However, childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects countless children and adolescents each year. It’s particularly troubling because the extra pounds can often put children on the path to health problems once considered adult problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Childhood obesity can also lead to poor self-esteem and depression.
One of the best ways to reduce childhood obesity is to improve your entire family’s eating and exercise habits. This is especially true in an environment where high-calorie foods are always available and physical activity isn’t encouraged.
Treating and preventing childhood obesity helps protect your child’s health now and in the future. Encourage your child to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid sugary snacks and drinks. You could go for a walk after dinner or breakfast on the weekend to encourage more physical activity.
Talk to their doctor if you are still worried that your child is putting on too much weight. The doctor will consider your child’s history of growth and development, your family’s weight-for-height history and where your child lands on the growth charts. A visit with your child’s physician can help determine if their weight is in an unhealthy range.
Give us a call at 256-377-8008 to schedule an appointment. The office is in Rockford at 9518 U.S. Highway 231. You can also visit our website Accordia-Health.org to schedule an appointment.
Accordia Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center. Accordia accepts all patients, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay, and offers a wide variety of services through a sliding fee discount program based on family size and income. We also accept Medicare, Medicaid, ALL Kids, and most private insurance.