Not all children carrying extra pounds are overweight or obese. Some children have larger than average body frames. And children normally carry different amounts of body fat at the various stages of development. So you might not know just by looking at your child if his or her weight is a health concern.
Your child's doctor can help you figure out if your child's weight could pose health problems using growth charts and, if necessary, other tests.
When to see a doctor
If you're worried that your child is putting on too much weight, talk to his or her doctor. Your child's doctor will consider your child's history of growth and development, your family's weight-for-height history, and where your child lands on the growth charts. This can help determine if your child's weight is in an unhealthy range.
April 10, 2015
- About BMI for children and teens. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/childrens_BMI/about_childrens_BMI.html. Accessed Feb. 27, 2015.
- Understanding childhood obesity. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/WeightManagement/Obesity/Childhood-Obesity_UCM_304347_Article.jsp. Accessed Feb. 27, 2015.
- Normal childhood nutrition & its disorders. In: Hay WW, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com/. Accessed Feb. 27, 2014.
- Huang JS, et al. Childhood obesity for pediatric gastroenterologists. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 2013;56:99.
- Klish WJ. Definition; epidemiology; and etiology of obesity in children and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 27, 2015.
- Barlow SE, et al. Expert committee recommendations regarding the prevention, assessment and treatment of child and adolescent overweight and obesity: Summary report. Pediatrics. 2007;120:S164.
- Currie C, et al. Is obesity at individual and national level associated with lower age at menarche? Evidence from 34 countries in the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2012;50:621.
- Keeping children at a healthy weight: A review of the research on ways to avoid becoming overweight or obese. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?pageaction=displayproduct&productID=1714. Accessed Feb. 17, 2015.
- Skelton JA. Management of childhood obesity in the primary care setting. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 27, 2015.
- Petjar R, et al. Pharmacological management of obese child. Archives of Diseases in Childhood Education and Practice Edition. 2013;98:108.
- Sherafat-Kazemzadeh R, et al. Pharmacotherapy for childhood obesity: Present and future prospects. International Journal of Obesity. 2013;37:1.
- Braet C, et al. The assessment of eating behaviour in children who are obese: A psychological approach. A position paper from the European childhood obesity group. Obesity Facts. 2014;7:153.
- Klish WJ. Clinical evaluation of the obese child and adolescent. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 2, 2015.
- Media and children. American Academy of Pediatrics. https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/pages/media-and-children.aspx. Accessed March 2, 2015.
- Klish WJ. Comorbidities and complications of obesity in children and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 3, 2015.
- Papoutsakis C, et al. Childhood overweight/obesity and asthma: Is there a link? A systematic review of recent epidemiologic evidence. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2013;113:77.
- Helping your overweight child. Weight-control Information Network. http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/over_child.htm#d. Accessed March 25, 2015.
- Barlow SE, et al. Expert Committee Recommendations Regarding the Prevention, Assessment, and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity: Summary Report. American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatrics. 2007;120:S164.
- Fitch A, et al. Prevention and management of obesity for children and adolescents. Bloomington, Minn.: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement; 2013.