My grandchildren are here for what might be an extended visit. The youngest is just 7, a girl, and she’s got a serious weight problem. I don’t think I weighed as much as she does now until I was well into the 6th grade. And although at 4-1/2 feet, she’s already nearly as tall as I was then, she’s still very clearly extremely overweight.
We’ve been worried about her situation for a long time. But her parents are addicted to fast food, so there wasn’t much we could do or say. We’re not. And I’m hoping that alone will make a big difference to her health if she’s here for a while.
Anyway, I want to help her if I can. So this morning I looked up articles about obesity and children. And I found some interesting sites: [more]
Kid’s Health (pages for Parents, Kids and Teens) – I found a page called Is Dieting OK for Kids? Where they say that kids don’t really need to “diet” in the sense of eating fewer calories than they burn. That getting a nutritious diet is the key.
Medem Medical Library, mentions the possibility of formal diet programs for children. But, they say that it should be done carefully, under a doctor’s supervision.
Basically, everyone recommends that a child this age (7) not be put on a formal diet. They say that if the child eats just the calories she’s using for energy that she’ll eventually grow into her weight (my, could she grow any taller?). They all say that the entire family should participate in a healthy-diet and exercise program — together. Which works perfectly for us. Because these are the changes we were making for ourselves, anyway.
I guess I’d better get dressed for my walk . . .