A word about weight

A word about weight and children

Worried your child is overweight? Thinking of putting him or her on a diet? Be careful! While you may have the best intentions in the world, trying to get your child to lose weight may only worsen the problem. Prohibiting certain foods, depriving your child, or exercising excessive control can interfere with your child’s growth and development. Your child could also develop an unhealthy preoccupation with their weight and body image.

Healthy weight in children

Healthy weight in children and teens is not measured with body mass index the way it often is with adults. The child’s height and weight are monitored on a growth chart that only a health professional can accurately interpret.

If you are worried about your child’s weight, be sure to consult a health professional who can provide guidance to help your child without endangering his or her health.

As a parent, your role is to:

  • Foster the adoption of good lifestyle habits at home

  • Avoid being overly preoccupied by your own weight, body image, and the foods you eat (calorie and fat content, etc.)

  • Avoid making negative comments about your child’s weight or appearance

  • Ensure your children have access to healthy and tasty foods at home

  • Encourage your children to recognize signs of hunger and fullness, e.g., by not forcing them to finish what’s on their plate or by offering them a snack when they’re hungry

  • Create opportunities to be active and avoid associating physical activity with calorie expenditure