Web Content Viewer (JSR 286) - Healthy Weight

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Couple giving two young children piggyback rides and smilingChildren need to gain weight if they are to grow and develop.

Some children do not gain enough weight and can be underweight- they can be lighter or shorter than the recommendationed measurements for their age. Check with your health professional if you are worried your child is underweight.

However, a quarter of Australian children aged between 5 and 17 years are now overweight or obese.

Being overweight can cause problems for children. They may find it harder to make friends and may even be teased or bullied. And they may not feel good about themselves. They may also have problems with sleeping, feel uncomfortable in their stomach or joints, become breathless when exercising, and/or even have early signs of chronic disease, like type 2 diabetes or risk factors for heart disease, which usually occur much later in life.

Being overweight as a child makes it more likely that they will be overweight as an adult. This means that they have a greater chance of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers earlier than otherwise.

What you do for your children now may have an impact throughout their lives. Children who establish good habits, with healthy eating and regular physical activity, are more likely than others to maintain those habits and to benefit from them throughout life.

So to give your kids the best possible start by: