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The Secret To Helping Kids Lose Weight

Sep 11, 2008
Have you heard the recent hype in the news about helping kids lose weight and the incidence of childhood obesity and the risks that go with it. As usual, scare stories abound with calls for government intervention and/or large-scale social changes. But apart from the over-the-top reactions, there are some basic facts that remain.

In western countries the availability is great and there is little risk of starving unless your poor. At the same time, convenience foods, fast food establishments and snacks everywhere have made it all the more likely that many will consume too many calories.

Helping kids lose weight is a necessity. The reason is because with the popularity of computer and Internet activities, children (and teens) spend a larger percentage of time being inactive than in decades past. TV watching and talking on the phone, of course, have been popular for decades. But with the addition of the Internet, hours of physical activity per week has declined for many.

Because of this lack of activity children today are on average heavier than they were a few decades ago. They also tend to consume more foods high in complex sugars and fat, and less fiber, fruits and vegetables. The net effect is, for some, obesity.

When measuring obesity it is somewhat different for children than for adults, as a result of their rapidly changing bodies and metabolic rates that differ. Children often experience growth spurts that would skew any measurement that used BMI (Body Mass Index) primarily. Instead of using BMI alone as a starting point, BMI is combined with age and gender to create a more accurate picture.

An adult with a BMI of 30 or greater would be considered (borderline) obese. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) charts would designate a child as obese at the 95th percentile. The two are roughly equivalent, but it's necessary to look at the charts for a more careful breakdown.

Another important measurement is percentage of body fat and here again the numbers differ by sex. An obese boy would be identified as one whose body fat was 25% or more of total body weight. For girls the number is 32% of body fat as a percentage of total weight.

A major reason for the difference is simply that females naturally have a higher percentage of body fat their entire lives. For adult males the number is roughly 15% for a healthy, fit individual. But for women the number is around 27%.

In regards to helping kids lose weight they must be encouraged to use the combination of proper diet and regular exercise. This will usually involve some lifestyle changes. These are often easier to implement for younger children, and have the added advantage of establishing good habits that typically carry on into the teen years and beyond.

Helping kids lose weight is a must to maintaining good health when your young and it will be easier to maintain into adulthood.
About the Author
Learn about a revolutionary new diet system and eating program that will make you lose weight WITHOUT restricting your diet to low fat or low carb foods, rather eating the right calories. Helping kids lose weight starts with a healthy diet.
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