The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) believe more needs to be done in order to tackle childhood obesity. New guidelines say parents and children should track food and activity to help.
Rates of childhood obesity are now levelling out, however three in every 10 children between the ages of two and 15 are still considered to be overweight or obese.
NICE guidelines have made many recommendations, including more support from local authorities, however at the heart of managing this issue is the family.
The guidelines suggest that children aged 12 and above (depending on their abilities) should be encouraged to track their eating habits, physical activity and any sedentary behaviour (i.e. hours spent watching television) to see which areas need addressing.
For younger children, the parents/carers should keep tabs instead. Within the guidelines it is also stressed how important it is for parents and carers to recognise when their child is overweight. Results from a National Opinion Poll showed only 14% of those with an obese child thought their child was overweight – highlighting a serious issue of denial.
While schools help to monitor children by weighing/measuring at ages five and 11, NICE believe all members of the family should be on board.
Prof Mike Kelly, Director of the Centre for Public Health at NICE has said:
“We are recommending family-based lifestyle programmes are provided which give tailored advice. These programmes will also support parents to identify changes that can be done at home to tackle obesity – and maintained over the long term.”
He goes on to explain that many of the changes are things we should already be looking at anyway, such as healthier eating, being more active and reducing the amount of time spent watching TV/playing computer games.
For some of us, the way we viewed food and exercise as a child is how we view them now. To change this perspective, some people find hypnotherapy helpful. Find out how hypnotherapy can help those struggling with obesity by reading our weight loss fact sheet.
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