Trouble keeping up or pain
Does your child have trouble breathing during activities? Does she find it hard to keep up to the other kids during kickball or tag? Maybe he can breathe okay, but your child complains of pain in their knees or ankles when he runs. These are other areas of concern.
Many parents might not realize that overweight and obese kids often have weight-related problems during childhood. This could mean that your child is at risk for any of the diseases typically associated with childhood obesity such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep problems, frequent headaches, liver disease and arthritis.
It’s not just physical symptoms, either. Kids who are overweight often suffer from anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. They may be bullied or face discrimination.
What can you do?
Although genetics or hormones can play a role, most of the time childhood obesity is caused by eating too much and exercising too little. “Ask your physician about some strategies to help your child become healthier,” says Dr. Ebert. “The sooner you can begin developing healthy habits the sooner you can begin to address weight challenges.”