SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, news release, June 29, 2015
MONDAY, June 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- As rates of childhood obesity continue to climb in the United States, parents should embrace healthy eating habits and behaviors to help kids maintain a normal weight, a new report says.
In updated recommendations released Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) described how families can help combat childhood obesity by following a well-balanced diet, getting regular exercise and limiting sedentary activities.
"It is never too early for a family to make changes that will help a child keep or achieve a healthy weight," report co-author Dr. Sandra Hassink, president of the AAP, said in an association news release. "Families can improve their eating habits in a variety of ways, but it is important for healthy eating and physical activity to be tailored to the child's developmental stage and family characteristics."
Parents don't have to take on this responsibility alone. The AAP noted that pediatricians can help families find ways to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
"Even when families have knowledge of healthy behaviors, they may need help from pediatricians to motivate them to implement behavior changes," Dr. Stephen Daniels, chair of the AAP Committee on Nutrition, said in the news release. "Parents and other family members are strongly encouraged to adopt the same fitness and lifestyle changes as the child. Pediatricians can educate families, provide support and help them stay on track."
Here are some positive steps the AAP recommends for families:
The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on childhood obesity.