Is your child or a child you care about struggling with weight related issues?
Don’t feel alone. It is estimated that up to 30% of children in the United States, Canada and Australia are overweight or obese. You’ve seen it on television, in magazines, and on the internet. You see it every day. Childhood obesity is the number one concern for our children today. So what is childhood obesity and what can we do to prevent it?
Although the definition of obesity and overweight has changed over time, obesity traditionally has been defined as a weight at least 20% above the weight corresponding to the ideal weight for individuals of a specific height, gender, and age. Twenty to forty percent over ideal weight is considered mildly obese; 40–100% over ideal weight is considered moderately obese; and 100% over ideal weight is considered severely, or morbidly, obese. More recent guidelines use a measurement called BMI (body mass index) which is the individual’s weight multiplied by 703 and then divided by twice the height in inches. BMI of 25.9–29 is considered overweight; BMI over 30 is considered obese. Additionally, some researchers classify children as overweight if their percentage of body fat was at least 25% and 30%, respectively, for males and females. Continue reading