Why Is Childhood Obesity Considered a Health Problem?

  • Obese children can be bullied and teased more compared to their normal-weight friends.

  • Such children are at higher risk for having getting other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep problems, bone and joint problems, heart problems such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

  • Obese children are more likely to have obesity as adults.

How can you help your child in the prevention of childhood obesity?

  • Try to balance the calories your child consumes from foods and beverages with the calories your child needs for physical activity and normal growth.

  • The goal for overweight/ obese children is to decrease the rate of weight gain while allowing normal growth and development. Children should never be placed on a weight reduction diet without the consultation of a doctor.

Encourage healthy eating habits

  • Give plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products

  • Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products in meals

  • Prefer lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils and beans for protein

  • Serve reasonably-sized portions

  • Encourage children to drink lots of water

  • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages

  • Limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat

Remove calorie-rich temptations!

Lowering the calorie-rich temptations of high-fat and high-sugar or salty snacks can help your children develop healthy eating habits. Allow your children to eat such items occasionally so that they truly will be treats. Healthy snack options are as follows:

  • A medium-sized apple

  • A medium-sized banana

  • 1 cup grapes

  • 1 cup carrots

Help Kids Stay Active

Engage children in the right amount of physical activity and avoid too much sedentary time.

Children should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity during most days of the week, preferably daily. 

Some examples of moderate-intensity physical activity are:

  • Running

  • Jumping rope

  • Playing cricket

  • Swimming

  • Dancing

Reduce sedentary time

Along with encouraging physical activity, avoid spending too much sedentary time. They can read and complete their homework but limit the time your children watch television, play video games or surf the web to no more than 2 hours per day. 


Tips for Parents–Ideas to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight[Internet]. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/children/index.html. Accessed on Mar 14, 2020.