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5 Tips for Parents with Overweight Children

5 Tips for Parents of Overweight Kids

People may find it hard to believe that children need a diet and fitness plan. It's a common misconception that growing kids can eat anything and will stay healthy because they naturally enjoy running around and being active.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, one in every five children in the United States is overweight, and that number is growing. Genetic factors are a consideration, but many children are imitating the bad habits they see in Mom and Dad. This includes a poor diet, with a reliance on fast foods or processed foods, and not exercising. The average American child spends around 24 hours a week watching television. The increased popularity of computer and video games means kids may spend even less time doing physical activities.

Just like overweight adults, overweight children are at a greater risk for illness and disease, such as diabetes. Here are some tips for helping kids get fit and stay healthy.

For more information on healthy eating and exercise, talk to a registered dietician or professional trainer, particularly one who has experience or expertise with children. If you feel that your child's weight may be causing serious health problems, consult a physician immediately.