Childhood Obesity – What does it mean?

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    By: ActivityTree

    There is quite a bit of discussion these days about keeping kids healthy and active.  This should come as no surprise, as the rate of obesity in children continues to rise.  Research published in the April 2009 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine suggests that 1 in 5 American children are now obese.  So, perhaps you are wondering what the definition of obese is and what impact obesity has on the health of our children.  Here are some answers from the experts.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a child is overweight if his or her BMI is at or above the 85th percentile and lower than the 95th percentile.  A child is obese if his or her BMI is at or above the 95th percentile.  BMI is a measurement of weight in relation to height.  In simpler terms, a child is obese if his or her weight is more than 20% higher than the ideal weight for a boy or girl of the same age and height.  Want to calculate your child’s BMI?  Use this handy calculator

    So what impact does obesity have on our children?  According to the CDC childhood obesity may lead to serious childhood medical problems, including pre-diabetes and diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, asthma, and low self esteem.  These issues may surface in childhood or when the child becomes an adult.

    Experts also agree that preventing a child from becoming overweight or obese is much easier than trying to get an obese child back to a healthy weight.  The good news is this problem is easily solved.  Keep our children active and provide them with healthy food choices! 

    Need some ideas to keep your kids active? Check out our Kids Activities Blog section for great suggestions.  Or, search nearly 60,000 activity providers to find kid’s classes and camps near you.

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