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Watch Out, Your Kid is Over Sized!

With bowl in one hand and spoon in another, parent or grandparent closely following the “da pang xiao zi” (means big baby), and stuff food whenever the baby opens mouth. 

Have you seen this scene ever before in a crowed restaurant or the playground beside the apartment you live? It’s a very skillful technic called “Wei Fan” (food feeding), one has to be very swift and gentle at the same time to perform this. 

However, this is the technic that one must master to become a Great Parent, but that is when most kids are suffering malnutrition and children health condition is roughly evaluated by the simple fact of weight. Now “Wei Fan” is doing way too much to Chinese children obesity. 

- Warning from WHO - 

Jan. 2016, a report from WHO indicates that for the age group under 18, overweightness and obesity increased globally, meanwhile 48% of obesity kids under 5 are located in Asian. Children obesity has become a public health issue. 

Over-weighted kid has higher risk of developing early diabetes, hypertension, asthma, heart disease, and fatty liver; many of them are chronic situations, which have life term effect. The damage could be both physical and mental, they may feel different from other children, and trouble them. 

 - Parent is the reason why - 

1, Lack of nutrition knowledge - A lot parents still think that eating more food is positively associated with growing stronger. Apart from daily diet, they even purchase many supplements for their kids. This is not helping. 

2, Eat whatever they like - Feeding kids with whatever they want, which most likely are high calorie, or high carbohydrate, is the direct reason for kids gaining weight. This is just the wrong way to pour your love to them. 

3, Absence of proper exercise - It’s not easy to spare out time for daily exercise when kids are having so much homework and the numerous temptations from fun games. But still it’s ideal for consuming the calories. 

4, Gene - Yes, here comes the Gene again, evidence shows that obesity runs in the family, if the parents are over weighted, then the kids are much more likely to become over weight. 

 - How big is too big - 

Overweight is defined differently for children and teens than it is for adults. Because children are still growing; and boys and girls mature at different rates, BMIs for children and teens compare their heights and weights against growth charts that take age and sex into account. This is called BMI-for-age percentile. A child or teen's BMI-for-age percentile shows how his or her BMI compares with other boys and girls of the same age. 

- The BMI formula  

Body Mass Index = Weight(Kg) / Height2 (M2)  

For kids over 5 years old, you could refer to the chart below. 


Click ↑ for the high resolution picture 

- The Chart  

WHO Body Weight Table  

Referring to the chart below, you can easily find out if it falls in the normal range. 


Click ↑ for the high resolution picture 

 - OMG, What to do!? - 

1, Set a Realistic Goals! - Setting the right weight control goals is an important first step to lose and maintain weight. Children who are overweight or obese can reach a healthy weight with the help of their parents and family. 

2, Diet diet diet - Scientifically managing the daily diet, in accordance with the nutrient reference value to meet the demand. Restriction should be applied with fast-food, snacks, soft drink and dessert.  

Shopping carefully. Healthful foods include: 

a) Fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products such as low-fat yogurt, cheese, and milk. 

b) Lean meat, fish, poultry, cooked beans, and peas.  

c) Whole grain foods such as whole wheat bread, oatmeal, and brown rice. Other grain foods like pasta, cereal, bagels, bread, tortillas, couscous, and crackers. 

d) Fruits, Vegetables, which can be canned (in juice or water), fresh, frozen, or dried. 

3, It takes awhile - Dramatic weight loss is dangerous. Pay close attention to your kids, encourage them to make the change, and reward them if necessary. Try not to push kids to hard.  

4, Move the body - Outdoor activity is highly recommended, avoid long sitting, and kids need at least 60 mins of outdoor activity. 

5, No drug allowed - Please do NOT give kids any weight loss drug or supplement, consult a pediatrician when you need professional suggestions. 

The whole family will benefit from making healthy lifestyle changes. These include paying attention to good nutrition, limiting takeaway and junk food, increasing physical activity and seeking professional advice.