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Nowadays weight problems abound and it has taken the form of an epidemic. Parents should be careful from childhood that their child does not become obese. In some cases parents first pile up the plate of their child and then insist that he finish all of it. In other cases a sedentary life style, coupled with unhealthy food comprising of fried and rich stuff, is the culprit.

Many parents mistakenly think that plumpness is a sign of health and it means that the child is being well looked after and fed properly. Others feel that chubby children look appealing and cute and that is the way they should be.  According to them any excess fat will simply melt away when the child grows up. Be assured this does not happen and a lot of effort and heartburn goes into losing this fat.

For a conscientious parent the question arises as how to determine whether the child is overweight and requires remedial measures. The best option would be to consult a doctor and he will tell you what the ideal weight for that age group is. Weight can vary for different heights, body types and gender so these factors have to be taken into consideration. Keeping all these factors in mind a medical practitioner will use a BMI calculator which stands for Body Mass Index. He will also be able to tell you if your child has a risk to become overweight in later life. If the parents are already on the heavier side then the child is all the more likely to be like them as it is a gene linked tendency.

This is necessary as excess weight is the root cause of many diseases like high blood pressure, heart trouble etc. The child will spend his adult life fighting health problems and consuming medicines. Also an obese child faces ridicule and taunts from his playmates resulting in low self esteem. He is unable to run around and gets tired easily and loses out on fun and games so essential for socialising and his health gets more compromised.

Instead of thinking that “my child is overweight”, once you are aware of the true state of affairs, then you should not lose any time in helping your child in adopting a healthy lifestyle. The beginning will have to be made by you by setting a good example. If you spend your time in front of the television then your child will follow suit. Try to get off the couch and head for the outdoors to play games with your child to give him much needed exercise and you will also benefit from it. Replace fries and soft drinks with healthier options like fruit. Plenty of books are available detailing healthy snacking and meal options so go ahead and use those for the sake of your child.