This Guest Blog is from Nicole Praefke, one of Dr. T’s Health Psych students:
While it is obvious that childhood obesity is a rising problem in the United States, it is not so obvious what approach should be taken. There are parents that put their children on strict diets, there are parents that will do nothing because they believe their child will “grow out of it,” and there are many parents in between these two extremes. Dr. Keith Ayoob, as Liz Neporent points out in Childhood Obesity: Is 7 Too Young to Diet?, affirms that losing weight should always be about health and not weight especially in a child who is very vulnerable to acquiring body image issues. However, he emphasizes the importance of a child with obesity losing weight. Therefore, the most healthy way for a obese children to lose weight is to give them the healthy portions and make sure they get enough exercise through their play time. It is probably the case that this same suggestion applies to adults, so adults who strive to be healthy should eat right, control their portions, and exercise, but they should not extreme diet. Read more about this important debate here.