Why We Should Never Diet A Child

Why We Should Never Diet A Child

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Childhood obesity figures in developed countries have grown dramatically in recent years, making overweight and obesity one of the biggest public health problems we face. Many parents, concerned about the weight of their children, wonder: When should a child be put on a diet?

Although the trend among adults is to "go on a diet" to control or lose weight - not always in a healthy way, it must be said - among the youngest, reduce food intake or restricting food should not be done lightly.

First of all, because it must be a health professional who determines what degree of overweight or obesity has the child, and secondly, because we can cause more harm than good if we do not face the problem properly.

However, given the confusion that the term diet generates, it is convenient to clarify that "putting the child on a diet" is not the most appropriate terminology, since the term diet means what is consumed daily, in terms of quantity and variety, for what the right thing would be to say, modify the child's diet.

The way to control the diet and modify the child's eating habits is basically to re-educate - probably starting with the parents, who are the ones who decide what the child eats, and following up with the child himself - in what is nutritionally healthy and what is healthy. do not. The objective of this "re-education" is to control variations in the child's weight by establishing the appropriate caloric intake, to achieve the appropriate and healthy weight for his age, height and gender.

It is convenient to start take action when the child begins to be overweight however little it may be, since an overweight child tends to become an obese child, and this obesity can be a serious health problem in adulthood.

To determine what situation a child is in, the Body Mass Index. This is a value obtained by dividing the child's kilograms of weight by the square of the child's height in meters, that is: BMI = weight [kg] / height2 [m2].

Unlike adults, age- and sex-specific BMI percentiles should be used for children and adolescents, since the amount of body fat changes with age and, for a certain age, this is different between girls and boys.

In this way, the percentiles (values ​​between 0 and 100) would be determined for a certain age and sex, based on the child's BMI, and their value relates the BMI of that particular child, with the BMI of the bulk of the child population of those same characteristics.

According to these relationships, and although the interpretation of the graphs is not an easy task, it is considered overweight when the percentile in which the child is above 85%, it being convenient that the result be examined by a health professional.

The specialist will also determine what is due to this over weight: a lack of physical activity, an excess intake of calories through the consumption of foods rich in saturated and trans fats or by excessive amounts, or a combination of both.

You can read more articles similar to Why We Should Never Diet A Child, in the category of Diets and children's menus on site.

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