Your child’s pediatrician is a great source of information if you have an overweight kid. Your doctor can help you determine if, in fact, your child is overweight. And, your doctor is an excellent source of tips and info to improve your child’s health and lifestyle.
Parents do not always know when their child is overweight. The younger the child, the greater the chance that your child is overweight and you don’t know it. You may just consider his or her chubby tummy and thighs as baby fat.
Most kids start to lose their baby fat by the time they reach five years of age. But some kids retain some of that baby fat and add even more due to poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. This leads to overweight kids.
Overweight kids are prone to weight-related medical issues like diabetes high blood pressure. Even if they don’t have medical issues, they are susceptible to body shaming by everyone around them.
Your pediatrician can be an excellent source of information for you. He or she can determine whether the child is overweight. They are also prepared to help you with tips about how to focus your child’s food intake and activity levels.
What to Ask Your Pediatrician About an Overweight Kid
Before the doctor can answer any of your questions, he/she must evaluate specifics about your child. These specifics come from a BMI analysis and answers you provide.
Starter Considerations by Your Pediatrician
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that a doctor measure a child’s Body Mass Index (BMI) starting when a child is two years of age. The BMI is a number calculated based on the child’s height and weight. The BMI, combined with the child’s age and sex can help the doctor determine if the child’s weight status (underweight, normal, overweight and obese.)
Your doctor will ask you about family weight issues. Your child’s weight is often a function of genetics; or, it could be signal of family-wide unhealthy eating habits and minimal exercise. Unhealthy family eating can make it common for overweight children to have one or two overweight parents.
Your child’s eating habits will be the next inquiry by your pediatrician. He/she can give you tips on what your child should eat, portion sizes and best frequency for eating meals and snacks.
Activity levels and exercise habits will provide a perspective on your how your child uses the foods he/she eats. Your doctor can provide ideas on how to get your child moving.
Questions to Ask Your Pediatrician
- Is his/her weight in the healthy range for his/her height sex and age?
- How can I help my child develop healthy eating habits without body shaming him/her?
- What are good snacks for my child?
- How often should I check my child’s weight?
- Will puberty cause a change in his/her weight?
One last thought: If you have an overweight kid is it critical that you find a pediatrician who is size-friendly and will not shame your child about their weight or put your child on a rigorous diet.