Child Obesity Plateaus But The Work Is Not Yet Done

We learned recently that child obesity is finally leveling off! This is great news but we can’t relax yet. Weight problems are life long issues and just because the scale is leveling off now, that doesn’t mean it won’t yo-yo for these kids later. What they need is continued support at home, at school and in the community.

That’s why program’s like Boston Children’s Hospitals’ OWL (optimal weight for life) program are so important. As reported by The Boston Channel, programs like this are starting to support community programs like Great Moves in Newton, MA, and are truly making great strides in helping families help their kids. They key to their success seems to be family involvement, as noted by Suzanne Rostler the clinical director of nutrition for Great Moves:

“Kids can not succeed without the support of the parents. They can’t just drop off the child and have them deal with the weight issue. Parents have to be involved.

To be successful at getting healthy, parents have to first admit their kids have a problem and this is often a major hurdle in some families and a road block to kids getting into programs like Great Moves. I discussed this recently at Pediatrics Now and talked to nutrition expert Kim Hiatt, PhD, from, who told me this by email:

“The parent should absolutely verbalize it so the child/teen stops suffering alone with it. I’ve had some kids tell me that they didn’t want to let their parents know that they were unhappy, though. They wanted to protect their parents so they acted like their weight didn’t bother them. But it seems to me that they always already know, have heard comments at school, etc. and that when a parent finally says…that they are going to get help, that it is a huge relief for the child.”

But, talk alone won’t work. You have to be part of the process and help your kids move more, as confirmed by a new study in Pediatrics released this week. So, let’s stop beating around the bush and focus our kids on getting healthy. Let’s make it a family affair and show our kids how to be healthy. If we all do this together now, the lessons learned for your kids will trickle into school and later into life when they have to make choices on their own. Look at it as creating a healthy living plan and soon enough the number on your child’s scale with begin to creep down.

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