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Helping the Overweight Child - Weight management goals for the overweight child

Your job is to offer nutritious food choices at meals and snack times. You decide what, where, and when your family eats. Your child's job is to choose how much he or she will eat of the foods you serve. Your child even gets to decide whether to eat.

Do not restrict food. Food restriction causes children to ignore their internal hunger gauges. Children who have their food restricted often end up heavier, because they become anxious about food and eating. Anxiety about not getting enough to eat will often lead a child to overeat whenever he or she gets a chance. This causes the child to become less in touch with how hungry or full he or she is, and the child becomes more likely to eat more than his or her body needs. This can also happen when children or teens follow weight-loss diets. It doesn't work to put a child on a diet-you get the opposite effect.

Pay attention to behaviors that may be adding to weight gain, and then work to correct them. Then trust that your child will end up at the weight that is right for him or her.

If you are concerned about your child's weight, talk to your child's doctor. He or she can tell you if your child is gaining weight too quickly and can give you steps to take to help your child have a healthy weight.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 29, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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