Obesity in children needs a whole family approach

Obesity in children is mainly determined by the parents.  Although single genes only account for 2% of childhood obesity, your chances of being obese are a massive 70% if both parents are affected, 50% if one is affected and only 10% if your parents are not obese.

Health care researchers have identified the most important messages for the whole family.

5 fruit and vegetable portions a day

3 structured meals a day

2 hours maximum screen time a day

1 hour minimum exercise a day

0 sweetened drinks a day

Success for the child depends on how successful their own parents are in losing weight and keeping it off. The parents must buy into a change in lifestyle or their child will not get a benefit. Eating healthy meals, mainly at home, and avoiding the fast food and snacking culture are important.

Pre-schoolers and their families are best helped by group classes but for adolescents individual therapy works best.

Based on BMJ Learning module. Most research is was based in Canada.

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