Insights & Actions for Healthy Living

Should I try to put my child on a weight loss diet?

Many parents are worried about their children’s health and preventing obesity since so many kids are struggling with excess body weight.

A recent study has found that younger children who were dieting often were linked with eating disorders, adult obesity and alcoholism as they got older. Sounds shocking but young women who began diets early in their life were more likely to have these health issues in their thirties.

Researchers did not find a direct cause and effect between being on a diet early and these poor health outcomes but feel there is a strong correlation there because these kids become so focused on their weight and eating patterns from an early age.

It is better for you as a parent to educate your children about which foods are healthy choices, encourage healthy food choices when they are away from home, model good eating behaviors in the home, limit low nutritional quality snack foods, cook together, choose unsweetened beverages particularly water, reduce their screen time and be physically active as a family instead of restricting calories through a weight loss diet and potentially limiting essential nutrients in your children’s diet.

Creating healthy habits instead of punishing unhealthy ones will result in improved health for a lifetime.

Parents need to be good role models by selecting healthy foods and restaurants that offer healthy options as well as maintaining their own normal weight. Finding fun activities to keep the family moving will help reduce childhood obesity when these lifestyle choices can grow into lifelong health habits.

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