Childhood obesity challenge: What parents can do today - Ep. 71

May 24, 2023
EEH Health360 750x500  Eps71

Play Video

Audio only

Weight is a sensitive topic for everyone, and kids and teens are especially aware of the stigma that can come with carrying extra pounds.

Childhood obesity is common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, between 2017-2020, the prevalence of obesity among kids and adolescents ages 2 to 19 was 19.7 percent, affecting about 14.7 million people. 

What causes it? Nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle choices fuel chronic disease, including obesity. Genetics can play a role as well.

Childhood obesity is a serious public health problem in America. When should parents be concerned about their child’s weight, and what can they do if their child is obese?

In Episode 71, Dr. G and his guest, Jenny Hasler, MD, IBCLC, discuss how to help children achieve a healthy weight, including how parents can address their child’s health without judgement or shame.


Myths vs. Facts

“A child’s obesity is all the parents’ fault.”  - Myth
Parental influences occur in several areas. Some are modifiable, and some are not. Genetics and environmental factors can play a role in childhood obesity.

“Childhood obesity crosses all lines — geographic, economic, ethnic/racial and religious.” – Fact
African American, Hispanic, Asian American and American Indian children are all considered high-risk groups. Urban dwellers are at a higher risk as well as kids from lower socioeconomic communities. But childhood obesity does not discriminate.

“Childhood obesity is a hormone problem.” – Myth
Hormones can cause weight gain, but they aren’t the main factor for childhood obesity.

“Nutrition and eating habits play a critical role in the development and persistence of childhood obesity.” – Fact
Portion sizes are important. Packaged and processed food portions have increased over the years. Eating too many unhealthy snacks and too much sugar can lead to weight gain.

“Physical inactivity and sedentary behavior play a role in caloric balance.” – Fact
Multiple studies have shown that sports and physical activity were negatively associated with obesity. Increasing physical activity and decreasing sedentary activity can have a positive effect on prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.

“Leading health organizations have issued reports calling for restriction and regulation of unhealthy food marketing directed to children.” – Fact
Marketing is one likely cause of the drastic increase in consumption of unhealthy food.


Listener healthy OH-YEAH!

Question: What kinds of activities do you do to restore yourself both physically and mentally? 
“Just celebrated my brother’s birthday will all my family! Greatest happiness to see everyone together!”
– B.B.


Additional resources