Childhood obesity is one of the most serious challenges that pediatricians and their patients face in the 21st century.
At Cumberland Pediatrics it is a challenge we are prepared to meet. It may well be the most important battle you fight on behalf of your child. The statistics are clear, overweight and obese children have an increase rate of becoming obese adults which puts them at risk for, heart disease, type 2 diabetes (which used to be only seen in adults), hypertension, joint problems and sleep apnea.
Many researchers in the field of childhood obesity predict that this may be the first generation that will possibly be outlived by their parents.
Obesity is defined as "an abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health, an intake of high caloric foods without an increase in physical activity". In layman's terms, eating too much junk food and spending too much time in the house on the computer, instead of outside exercising!
Closer to home, 40% of Georgia kids are obese and Georgia has the second highest childhood obesity rate in the country and is disproportionately higher in African American and Hispanic children.
Check with your insurance company. Almost every plan has a program to help your child lose weight and stay active.
Please visit the follwing websites for more information on nutrition and exercise.
- Choices for Kids - Healthy Nutritional Information
- Obesity Action Coalition - Obesity Action Coalition
- HealthyChildren.org - HealthyChildren.org
- Strong4Life - Healthy Living from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Tips for Making Healthy Choices
- Keep healthy snack available and ready to eat. Examples include dried fruits, cantaloupe, pineapples, strawberries, apples and mixed nuts (if your child is over age 2 and not allergic).
- Your child will not eat unhealthy food if it isn’t readily available to them. GET ALL OF THE JUNK FOOD OUT OF YOUR HOUSE.
- Include the ENTIRE family when making these changes. It will promote a healthy lifestyle for everyone involved and prevent your child from feeling ‘singled out’.
- Team sports or PE in school is not an adequate amount of exercise for your child. Your child needs to play outside, walk or ride a bike. Exercise does not include exercising their thumbs playing video games or using their buttock muscles at the computer.
- Be mindful of not exposing your child to songs that have bad language and talk about sex, drugs and violence. Exposure to music that contains a positive message will also help contribute to your child’s physical well being.
Sample Meal Plans
Our sample meal plans are provided to give you ideas and options for helping child make healthier food choices.