Obesity in Children and Adolescents

In the United States children and adolescents are 15% of the obesity statistic. For these children adult obesity is likely unless steps are taken to better nutrition and more active forms of exercise.

Nutrition is important for a healthy child and teenager. Physical activity is equally important. Children of all ages need exercise daily for at least 1 hour. Children benefit from a diet having a lower fat content and higher complex carbohydrate content. This means children should be eating whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Grain nutrients may be anywhere from 2 to 8 ounces a day depending on the age of the child. It is suggested that children's meals contain at least one fruit per meal, and that water be given in place of juice, and 2 to 4 cups of milk per day are needed for calcium requirements. Most children require calorie totals of 900 for toddlers to 2200 for adolescent boys. Girls in adolescence usually require 1500 to 1800 calories daily.

Exercise gained through team sports or independent activities plus a healthy diet will activate a healthy metabolism. Healthy family eating patterns help in educating children. If they grow within a family that eats well then they will continue, in all likelihood, to eat well when they grow older.

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