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What is an overweight child?

The standard used to determine whether a child is overweight is body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of how much a person weighs in relation to his or her height. Doctors begin to measure this at the age of 2. If a child’s BMI is greater than 85% of other children his or her age and gender, he or she is considered overweight (obese if greater than 95%). Overweight and obese children are much more likely to have joint problems, breathing problems and poor self-esteem. They are also much more likely to become obese adults with a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes. Providing healthy food options and encouraging outdoor activities are excellent ways to prevent and control weight problems in children and are crucial during this time as they develop lifelong habits. Start by restricting TV time and sweetened drinks and facilitating involvement in sports. Your child will be healthier and happier for it.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.