Overweight Kids Become Overweight Adults
Obesity is often a family disease. Overweight kids grow up to be overweight parents, who in turn have overweight kids themselves. Children of obese parents are more than twice as likely to become obese when they reach adulthood. For overweight kids whose parents are not overweight, the longer the weight stays on, the more likely it is to follow them into adulthood. Children under three who are overweight do not run any additional risk of becoming an overweight adult. But a child who is still overweight after the age of six is 50 percent more likely to become an obese adult than nonover-weight children of the same age.
Clinical studies have demonstrated that the family approach works over the long haul. A ten-year follow-up study at the University of Pittsburgh found that when both parent and child were targeted for weight-loss interventions, the child was more likely to keep off the weight than children in a control group, where the child alone was targeted.
You have the power to break the cycle. Make a commitment to institute new traditions in your family, including fun and challenging exercise, nutritious meals, and open and honest communication with your child. You'll not only help your child achieve her fitness goals and establish good habits that will follow her into adulthood, but you'll emerge with a stronger and healthier family.