Excess weight at age 5: Predicting future problems?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 percent of children ages 6 to 11 are overweight, putting them at risk for health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University studied 153 girls living in central Pennsylvania. They found that girls who were at risk for excess weight at age 5 had significantly higher rates of "dietary restraint" by age 9 because of trying to maintain or lose weight, weight concern, body dissatisfaction and a tendency to overeat immediately after a meal in the absence of hunger.
"Children's participation, parental involvement and knowledge of portion sizes can help prevent excess weight in children," said registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Melinda Johnson.
"Parents are primary role models for kids. They need to encourage, promote and model a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity. Parents with concerns about their children's weight should consult a dietetics professional to make sure they approach their child's weight in a manner that will not do unintentional harm."
"Don't Blame the Pyramid"
In recent years, the Food Guide Pyramid, in particular with its emphasis on carbohydrates as a significant percentage of a daily diet, has been blamed by some people for the rise in excess weight and obesity in this country. However, accor
Contact: Kelly Liebbe
American Dietetic Association