Childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children and adolescents are not immune to the pressures of maintaining an ideal weight. If your child has begun to steadily lose more than a couple of pounds a week, it may be necessary to investigate the cause of significant weight loss.
Involuntary weight loss
Involuntary weight loss can be caused by several different diseases or problems. Malnutrition, illness, depression, chronic diarrhea, eating disorders or certain medications can have an effect on a child's weight. According to MedlinePlus, the involuntary loss of 5 percent of your total body weight in a six to 12 month course can be considered significant weight loss and you should consult your GP.
Weight loss in children
With busy lifestyles and the convenience and availability of processed and quick meals, it is not surprising that obesity, including childhood obesity, has been increasing. Before putting your whole family on a diet, keep in mind some facts. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children between the ages of 2 and 10, in general, should not deliberately try to lose weight as this could affect the growth and normal development of the child. The trick for kids that age is to maintain your current weight as your body grows. The academy suggests talking with your doctor.
Adolescent weight loss
Preadolescence and adolescence is difficult for many children. Sometimes they try to change their body weight due to sports or social pressures. Low self-esteem and unrealistic self-image can lead a child to choose a diet or an extreme weight loss regime. If your child is intentionally losing more than 2 pounds per week, you will need to contact a health provider.
Healthy Weight Loss
When anyone over 10 years of age is trying to lose weight, they should try to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that if a person loses weight faster than that, they are most likely losing muscle or water, not fat. The best option is to combine a healthy diet with a little exercise. The CDC suggests that for healthy weight loss, a person should only reduce approximately 500 or fewer calories per day to lose weight steadily. Exercise will also help burn the 3 500 calories that need to be burned for every pound a person wants to lose.If your child is over 10 and overweight, talk to him about healthy ways to lose weight. They could team up and do it together. Sports, biking, hiking, swimming and jogging will be enjoyable for both of you. You can also plan and prepare healthy meals and snacks for the whole family.