Childhood Obesity - Do you have an overweight child? We offer tips to help your child lose weight and get fit!

"The kids at school started calling me 'fatso' when I was five. I remember crying to my mom about being called names. I didn't really think I was fat. I was very active and swam every day. Her immediate response to my unhappiness was to snap impatiently, 'Well then, lose weight!' I remember feeling crushed by her response to my misery. She didn't know what to do, and assumed just telling a five-year-old to "lose weight" was sufficient. I struggled with my weight (and self-esteem) for the next 30 years." -A Weight Controller on the psychological consequences of childhood obesity

If you are the parent of an overweight or obese child, this site will offer you some insights, tips, and suggestions to help your child get in shape, eat healthy, and get active.

Whether you are just beginning to wonder if that "baby fat" will ever go away or if you have "tried everything" and are considering a weight loss camp or other intervention, we have nutrition articles, weight loss tips, and diet and nutrition information to help you start helping your overweight child get fit and healthy.

Did you know? Obesity is defined by many practitioners as 20% above normal weight. If your child should weight around 100 pounds to be in the healthy range and he or she weighs 120 pounds, this is considered to be obese. Other practitioners use BMI (body mass index) to determine whether a child is obese. Don't be afraid to tell the truth, misguided diplomacy about childhood obesity will only prolong the problem.

There are many ways you can get your child more fit, from family walks to basing their allowance on chores that get them more physically active >>

Childhood obesity has become one of the most pressing health crises in the United States, but the childhood obesity epidemic has now spread to many countries and continents.

Childhood obesity has become one of the most pressing health crises in the United States, but the childhood obesity epidemic has now spread to many countries and continents.

The School and The Hamburger Joint: Study Shows They Go Hand in Hand

If you live near a school, you probably live near a fast food restaurant. And that's no coincidence, according to a study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers looked at the locations of 1292 schools and 613 fast food restaurants in Chicago, Illinois, and concluded that the restaurants were deliberately built within walking distance of schools. Thirty-five percent of the schools were within a five-minute walk of a fast food place; 80% had at least one restaurant within a ten-minute walk. Schools in highly commercial regions of the city or in high-income areas had the most fast food restaurants nearby.

The researchers, led by S. Bryn Austin of the Children's Hospital in Boston, estimated three to four times as many restaurants were clustered near schools than in areas without schools.

The restaurants in the study were members of big chains like McDonalds, Wendy's and Subway. They served complete meals, not just coffee or doughnuts. The schools were for all age levels: kindergarten through high school. Since only 6% of Chicago's children rely on school buses, most of the children could walk to the restaurants before and after school. High schoolers were able to go there for lunches if their school is an "open campus."

The authors of the study suggest that city councils should restrict the building of such restaurants near schools as a public health measure. There are already restrictions on building establishments that sell pornography, alcohol and firearms near schools. This study appears in the September 2005 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Causes of Childhood Obesity

Lack of physical activity or sedentary lifestyle

Eats more calories than he or she expends

Too much fat in the diet

Too much sugar in the diet

Family genetics

Tried everything but your child just can't lose weight? When is it time to try a weight loss camp or other residential program to deal with childhood obesity? >>

Looking for a weight loss camp or residential program for your overweight teen?
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