Obesity in children and adolescents is a serious issue with many health and social consequences that often continue into adulthood. Implementing prevention programs and getting a better understanding of treatment for youngsters is important to controlling the obesity epidemic.
Many parents are rightly concerned about their child’s weight and how it affects them. They look for specific answers for prevention and treatment options. Unfortunately, the state of the science is a lot less precise than we would like.
Are kids too concerned about their weight? What are the best strategies for prevention? What treatments work over a long time? Researchers are trying to answer those and many other questions.
In many cases, common sense works well. In situations where there are serious health, psychological or social problems, parents should seek out the best possible advice.
Teaching healthy behaviors at a young age is important since change becomes more difficult with age. Behaviors involving physical activity and nutrition are the cornerstone of preventing obesity in children and adolescents. Families and schools are the two most critical links in providing the foundation for those behaviors.
Source: American Obesity Association. Visit Diabetes.org for more information and resources.