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In some children, weight spurts (when they gain weight) happen before height spurts (when they get taller). Other children just gain more weight than they need for their height. This is how children become overweight. Parents, other family members, and friends can all help your child who is at risk of or has become overweight. You can show that having fun while being active, eating healthy foods, and feeling good about yourself are all part of a healthy lifestyle. A child whose weight is ahead of their height, or who is considered overweight, may develop long-term health problems. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet and more exercise can help your child have better health and more energy so that your child can do better at school and enjoy more activities.
It may help to know that you don't have to make huge changes at once. Change takes time. Start by making small changes in eating habits and exercise as a family. Weight loss diets aren't recommended for most children. The best way to help your child stay at a healthy weight is to increase your child's activity level. The goal is to have your child gain weight more slowly while making sure they're still growing taller.
If you have questions about how to make changes to your family's eating habits, ask your doctor about seeing a registered dietitian. A dietitian can help you and your child develop healthier eating habits.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter Z777 in the search box to learn more about "When Your Child Is Overweight: Care Instructions".
Adaptation Date: 2/25/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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