Obesity Prevention

Preventing obesity

Avoid patterns that lead to obesity:
  • Don't force your child to finish his food or drink. It's OK to have leftovers.
  • Don't offer dessert as a reward for finishing a meal. Doing this teaches your child to value sweets more than other foods.
  • Don't use food to comfort or to reward.
  • Avoid fast-food restaurants whenever possible.
  • Avoid foods that are pre-packaged, sugary or overly salty. Avoid sweetened soft drinks.
  • Serve meals and snacks at the table and not in front of the TV.

Ways to prevent obesity:
  • Offer a diet rich in fiber (fruits, vegetables, and grains). Less than 30% of calories should come from fat.
  • Learn about nutrition from your doctor or a nutritionist in order to provide a healthy diet.
  • Establish good eating habits, family meal and snack times should be consistent.
  • Remove temptation; purchase foods that are high in fiber and low in fat.
  • Parents or caregivers (not the child) determine what food is offered.
  • Offer only healthy options and allow the child to choose between two or three healthy options.
  • Skim milk can safely replace whole milk after a child is 2 years old.
  • Be a role model. Everyone in the family needs to eat a healthy diet.
  • Encourage exercise. Limit time spent in front of a TV or a computer, encourage daily exercise appropriate for the child's age and medical condition, and incorporate exercise into family outings and activities.


Helpful Articles

Moxley III R.T.,Ashwal S.,Pandya S.,Connolly A.,Florence J.,Mathews K.,Baumbach L.,McDonald C.,Sussman M.,Wade C.
Practice Parameter: Corticosteroid treatment of Duchenne dystrophy (pdf 140kb).
Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the Practice Committee of the Child Neurology Society; (2005)
This is the January 2005 report of the quality standards subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the Practice Committee of the Child Neurology Society based on review of current scientific literature and research studies.


Author: Lynne M Kerr, MD, PhD - 11/2008
Content Last Updated: 11/2008