Life Times Newsletter

Fall 2005
Vol. 7, No.

Overweight children: What parents can do

Childhood obesity has become an increasing concern for parents.
The rate of overweight in the United States has more than doubled for preschoolers and adolescents over the past 30 years, and it has more than tripled for children ages 6 to 11. Overweight children get a head start on health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and sometimes low self-esteem and depression resulting from social discrimination.
    A child being overweight is generally caused by lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of the two, with genetics and lifestyle both playing important roles in determining a child's weight. Children are moving around too little as a result of too much screen time, including television, computers and video games. Almost half of children aged 8 to 16 years watch three to five hours of television a day.
    As a parent, you can help your children improve their physical condition. Even small changes can make a big difference in your familyís overall health.

More physical activity

Healthy eating tips

Importance of your support
    Overweight children probably know better than anyone else that they have a weight problem. Let your child know he or she is loved and appreciated, whatever his or her weight. Be a good role model. If concerned your child may be overweight, talk with the doctor.

For more information, visit


Damaris Karanja, MA
Nutrition & Health Education Specialist

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University of Missouri Extension Editor: Roxanne T. Miller