Obesity in Children: How to Feed an Obese Child?

Childhood obesity is a problem that has increased dramatically in recent years. So, do you have any idea why it has increased so much and what the symptoms are?

All the details you wonder about the obese child’s nutrition, diet and obesity treatment are in our article!

Why do children become obese?

There are 2 types of obesity:

  • Simple obesity caused by eating habits,
  • Rare obesity caused by endocrine and genetic disorders.

The underlying cause of obesity in children is the energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. The increased energy is stored in the body as fat mass, and accordingly, weight increases and obesity occurs.

Every 7000 calories taken by the body are stored as 1 kilo of fat. It is very important to pay attention to eating habits and lifestyle in order to prevent obesity in children.

How do you know if a child is obese?

Many parents confuse child size with obesity. Round belly, chubby cheeks and dimpled knees don’t always indicate obesity in children. If you have such doubts, you should consult your doctor first. Before you can say if my child is obese, there are two questions that need to be answered:

  • Does your child really look overweight?
  • Is your child’s weight 20% higher than the average for age, gender, and height?

If your answer is no to both questions, we can say that your concerns about your child’s weight are unfounded.

How to Identify Undergrowth in Children?

What are the signs of obesity in children?

  • Tiredness,
  • lack of movement,
  • difficulty in breathing,
  • Pain in legs.

Of course, not every pain means obesity: Leg Pain in Children

If you suspect that your child is obese and you observe these symptoms, you should definitely seek expert support to intervene as soon as possible.

At what age does childhood obesity begin?

Although childhood obesity does not increase the risk of becoming obese in adulthood, the weight gained after the age of 4 increases this risk.

It is estimated that 10-40% of overweight children will be 50-80% obese in adulthood.

At what weight does obesity start in children?

The obesity calculation is based on the body mass index (BMI) for age. The formula for calculating body mass index in children is as follows:

Body mass index = Weight (kg) / Height x Height (cm)

Evaluations according to the result
Less than 18.5 kg/m²Weak
18.5-24.9 kg/m²Normal
25-29.9 kg/m²Overweight
30-39.9 kg/m²obese
40 kg/m²morbidly obese
50 kg/m²super obese

What are the causes of increased obesity in children?

The main factors underlying the increasing prevalence of the obesity problem, which has been increasing in recent years, are sedentary life and poor nutrition.

With technological developments, children spend most of their time outside of school hours in front of computers and phones. This means sitting more and consuming fewer calories.

The widespread use of fast food diets and the fact that children do not grow up with a healthy diet at home make obesity a global problem. Not to mention that grandparents resort to chocolates and candies to reward their grandchildren.

Who is more prone to obesity?

If your child;

  • If he chooses food,
  • If feeding times are irregular,
  • If he eats food fast
  • If he is very fond of snacks,
  • If you have a tendency towards sugary and excessive carbohydrate foods,
  • If he cannot resist high-fat meals such as deep-fried,
  • If he is consuming too much meat,
  • If the consumption of vegetables and fruits is low (If you say “I Can’t Eat Vegetables to This Child” Read! ),
  • If he has little movement,
  • If he spends long hours in front of the computer or television, it means that danger bells are ringing for obesity.

What health problems does obesity cause in children?

  • Hypertension,
  • Diabetes,
  • Congestion in the veins,
  • kidney diseases,
  • precocious puberty,
  • Menstrual irregularity and hair growth in girls,
  • gallbladder inflammation,
  • fatty liver,
  • short breathing pauses
  • Snore,
  • increased risk of cancer,
  • Skeletal problems, curvature of the hip,
  • Depression.

How to treat obesity in children?

In the treatment of obesity, first of all, it is investigated by a specialist physician whether there is a health problem that causes the disease. If a metabolic or hormonal problem is detected, it is first treated.

The diet list of the obese child must be prepared by a specialist. It is very important that the nutrition program is suitable for the age and gender of the child, and that it does not hinder his growth and development.

Another issue that is as important as nutrition in the treatment of obesity in children is the increase in activities. At least half an hour of activity during the day and regular sports and walks on weekends provide changes in the child’s lifestyle. Of course, your support is very important at this point.

What should the obese child’s diet list be like?

First of all, let’s say that you should definitely get support from an expert for a sample children’s diet program. Because the little pup may need to eat more or less than the average child. For this reason, the diet list for children should be personalized.

Some experts do not diet for children; of the opinion that a healthy nutrition program should be implemented. Although we cannot give you a diet program, we have prepared a sample table of what should be included in an ideal children’s menu.

Breakfastmid-morningAfternoonafternooneveningbefore sleep
½ glass of orange juice½ slice unrefined grain bread with 2 teaspoons peanut butter½ grilled cheese sandwich (wheat bread)Wheat flour pastry30 g unrefined grain or high protein pasta (can be with tomato sauce)pear slices
½ glass of orange juice½ cup of milk1 slice of melon½ cup of apricot juice1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheeseCookies flavored with fruit juice
½ cup unrefined cereal breakfast cereal½ cup of milk——–¼ cup cooked carrot slices——–½ cup of milk
½ sliced ​​banana——–——–½ cup of milk——–——–
½ cup milk and cereal——–——–——–——–——–

How should the obese child be approached?

Let’s give advice to parents with obese children.

  • Definitely don’t follow the diets you’ve heard around or seen popular on the internet. If your child needs to lose weight, you should definitely do it under the control of a specialist.
  • Don’t blame him for his weight, help your child love his body and get to know himself. Make your puppy feel that you want to help.
  • Don’t let your child eat while watching the TV or reading while lying down. But don’t put any restrictions on your diet.
  • Try to keep your child away from ads as much as possible. Children can ask for the snacks they see in advertisements.
  • Set a good example for your child with your diet, activities during the day, and how you react even in stressful situations.
  • Cook meals together from time to time. In this way, his enthusiasm for consuming healthy food increases even more.
  • Chat with him during the meal. You can treat mealtimes as a nutrition education process. “Eat less.”, “No leaving the table before you finish your plate.” Using phrases like You can’t encourage her to eat healthy by criticizing or embarrassing her.
  • Don’t forbid him snacks just because he needs to lose weight. Get him to turn to healthy snacks.
  • It won’t be easy for him to walk away from the harmful foods he loves. Therefore, do not keep sugary and fatty foods at home. Do not try to reward or punish him with such foods.
  • Focus on exercises you can do together as a family. This motivates him.
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