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How can I help my child lose weight?

For most children, weight loss is not recommended as an approach to deal with overweight and obesity. Rather, the focus is on maintaining weight so that as the child grows, their BMI will steadily decrease. For children who are very obese, and particularly where there are signs of other health problems or mental health issues that may be contributing to weight gain, your doctor may recommend a referral to a pediatrician or a psychologist specializing in treating children and adolescents. Recommended approaches to weight loss include reducing energy intake via a healthy eating plan, and increasing a child's physical activity levels to increase their energy output. Generally, for children, providing a family environment where family members act as role models by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly is particularly important. For adolescents who are very obese, options such as medication to assist weight loss (orlistat) and bariatric surgery (also known as obesity surgery) may be considered. Your doctor can discuss whether these options are suitable for your child.

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About this article

Author: Kellie Heywood
First answered: 25 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Votes: 761 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Childhood obesity

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