Parental Tips for Weight Loss in Children

Weight Loss in Children

Parental Tips for Weight Loss in Children

What is causing the obesity epidemic in children? The consensus of opinion is that it is caused by an imbalance between energy expenditure and energy intake i.e. children are not physically active enough to balance the volume of calories they consume from food and drink.

Over time, this energy imbalance translates in an increase in weight and longer term obesity.

In order to tackle this imbalance it is crucial to address both sides of the equation:

1.      Increase children’s level of physical activity

2.      Reduce calorie consumption

Physical Activity: a daily minimum of 6o minutes physical activity with a mix of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as fast walking, and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity such as running. Activities should also involve muscle-strengthening activities and bone-strengthening activities, such as push-ups.

Reduce Calorie Consumption:

Food and drink contains energy and is measured in kilocalories (kcal) and is referred to as calories. A 2011 report estimated the average energy requirements for children aged 7-10 years old a day is:

Age (years)            Boys                  Girls

7                       1649kcal            1530kcal

8                       1745kcal            1625kcal

9                       1840kcal            1721kcal

10                    2032kcal            1936kcal

While the amount of energy is important, children should also eat a healthy balanced diet.

  • Five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
  • Meals based on starchy foods, such as potatoes, bread, pasta and rice
  • Milk and dairy products (choose low-fat options where you can)
  • Good sources of protein, such as meat, fish, eggs, beans and lentils

Avoid too sugary or fatty foods, such as sweets, crisps, biscuits and sugary fizzy drinks. These foods and drinks are high in calories but contain few nutrients.

So in today’s world how do parents achieve both sides of this equation?

Leadership, Enthusiasm, Discipline, Effort, Creativity and above all Consistently educate your children what to eat and monitor the contemporary threats to children’s overall activity levels such as computers and game consoles that attract children away from more active pursuits.

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