What's the right weight for my child? This is a common question many parents have...check out this article for some answers.
As per Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
Childhood Obesity: the lurking health risk that isn't going away.
There is much in the news lately about rising rates of obesity in American children and adolescents. We hear it and read about it almost daily in the newspapers and on TV. According to National Center for Health Statistics data reported in 2002, 15% of all 6-19 year olds in this country weigh more than they should for their height and age. Many health professionals consider childhood obesity to be at epidemic or at near epidemic levels. It is estimated that 3/4 of the adult American population are overweight.
Overweight children and adolescents are at risk for health problems during their youth and as adults. For example, during their youth, overweight children and adolescents are more likely to have risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type 2 diabetes) than are other children and adolescents.
Overweight children and adolescents are more likely to become obese as adults. For example, one study found that approximately 80% of children who were overweight at aged 10–15 years were obese adults at age 25 years. Another study found that 25% of obese adults were overweight as children. The latter study also found that if overweight begins before 8 years of age, obesity in adulthood is likely to be more severe.
How Can You Determine Whether Your Child is Overweight? The most obvious answer to this question is to simply look at your child to determine whether his/her weight and height are out of proportion. If you think they may be overweight, ask your school nurse or doctor to evaluate your child.
A more objective measure to use to tell if your child is overweight is the BMI or Body Mass Index. A BMI is not a measure of percent of body fat, but an expression of the relationship of a person's weight to his/her height. Standard charts are used to plot this information. Exactly how to determine and plot your child's BMI percentile can be found on the Centers for Disease Control Web site: www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/bmi-for-age.htm.
Parents of children who are found to be overweight and with elevated BMI will be notified.
Children Need Greater Amounts of Physical Activity Per Day
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommends the following:
Perhaps the single most important time to increase physical activity and decrease sedentary activities such as television watching and computer time is after school between 3 and 6 p.m. Find safe, enjoyable opportunities for your children to be active during this time period. Unless a special time is set aside each day, the opportunity to be active will slip away.
Sedentary living contributes to obesity and chronic diseases later in life. Starting the activity habit early in life is crucial. You can log on to www.aahperd.org for more information on activity guidelines for children.