Child and Adolescent Obesity

In the United States, children and adolescents make up 15% of the obese population. Adult obesity is probable for these children and teens unless nutritional and exercise measures are taken.

Nutrition and physical activity are essential for healthy children and adolescents--children require a minimum of one hour exercise a day and a diet low in fat and rich in complex carbohydrates (found in whole grains, vegetables and fruits). Two to eight ounces of grain are necessary and two to four cups of milk for calcium. Caloric intake for toddlers should near 900 calories, for adolescent boys 2200 and for adolescent girls 1500 to 1800. Healthy food, a balanced diet and suitable calorie contents help prevent obesity in children and obesity in adolescents.

Sports and independent activities allow kids to get adequate exercise. A healthy and stable family diet will increase metabolism and teach children proper nutritional habits that will most likely continue through adulthood.