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Health Issues

Since the time your child was born, you have relied on your pediatrician to play multiple roles in your youngster’s life, from providing physical examinations to treating her illnesses to administering her immunizations on schedule. Don’t overlook the important supportive role your pediatrician can play by partnering with your family in your child’s weight-loss efforts.

Each time you visit the pediatrician’s office, particularly for scheduled checkups, your doctor or a nurse will weigh and measure your youngster and calculate her body mass index. He or she will check her overall health status and monitor any obesity-related health conditions she may have, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.

Your pediatrician can also talk to your child about her weight problem at a level appropriate for her age. The doctor can help you and your youngster prioritize the changes that need to be made first to get her weight problem under control and help you set some health goals, including lifestyle changes such as eating more healthfully, becoming more physically active, and watching less TV.

Also, turn to your child’s pediatrician for guidance on child development issues. The doctor can answer questions like, “At my child’s age, what is she capable of doing on her own as we’re adopting a more healthful lifestyle?” As you might guess, and your pediatrician can help explain, a 14-year-old is able to do much more than a 4-year-old. It isn’t developmentally appropriate, for example, to put your 4-year-old in charge of getting her own snacks from the refrigerator and expect her to make appropriate choices, but a 14-year-old who you’ve educated about healthy snacking might be trusted to do so.

 

Last Updated
5/30/2013
Source
A Parent's Guide to Childhood Obesity: A Road Map to Health (Copyright © 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.