Obese kids have other health problems, too

boy on scaleChildhood obesity is a growing problem in the United States, with the percentage of obese children increasing from 7 percent in 1980 to 18 percent in 2008, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Being overweight at such a young age increases a child’s future risk of heart disease, but new research shows it also may be linked to more immediate problems, such as asthma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and learning disabilities.

Obese children were twice as likely as normal-weight kids to have poor, fair or good health, versus very good or excellent. They were more likely than children of normal weight for their age to have activity restrictions or mental, developmental and physical health problems or be held back in school.

As parents, it’s important to provide healthy meals at home that include plenty of fruits and vegetables daily. Promoting sports or other physical activity is an excellent way to keep your child active and can lower the risk of obesity.

Learn more about Helping Your Child Learn Healthy Eating Habits and Quick Tips for Making Fast, Health Meals for you and your family.