As a pediatrician, I’m often asked “What percentile are they in for their height and weight?” Often, parents will seem disappointed when I tell them anything less than 50%, even though this is the average for their child’s age. Too many times, I hear, “He’s too short,” or “she’s too skinny,” for children who are growing perfectly well. Children near the 100% on height may be there due to having tall parents. Children near the 100% on weight are obese (with the exception of those who are near the 100% for height).
In the pediatric population, the obesity epidemic is real, affecting nearly 25% of kids. An additional 10% are classified as “overweight.” The health problems associated with obesity are numerous, and include diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, low self esteem, and bullying (to name a few).
By instilling healthy habits early in life, my hope is for us to reduce the number of those children affected by obesity.
I have established Read Run Root to encourage families, children, physicians, educators, and anyone else interested, to contribute their thoughts on how to accomplish this. Share menus and recipes, exercises, things for the busy family to do……Everything helps.