AAP: Telling kids they're overweight may do more harm

Doctors: Telling children they're overweight is a bad idea

(KFVS) - According to new guidelines posted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, telling your children they are overweight may do more harm than good.

Pointing out weight may lead to an increase in body fat, as well as the development of an eating disorder.

"In terms of a parent who has a child who is overweight, nagging and belittling a child don't work well at all," Dr. Jessica Cox, Family Medicine Physician at Southeast Health said.

Dr. Cox said the best way to treat an overweight child, is through affection.

"Encouraging them to love themselves at whatever stage they are," Dr. Cox said. "Making positive choices is the best way of treating a child."

A feeling echoed by Personal Trainer Tamatha Crowson.

"As parents I would, just make sure that you let your child know that you love them and support them and their weight is not who they are," Crowson said.

Crowson said the best way to get your kids active, is to disguise exercise as fun.

"Kids love play, so anything you can take them to the park," Crowson said. "You know, it's a good idea if your child is very sedentary right now, start slow."

Crowson said going for short walks is a great idea, but there are some at-home exercises you and your kids could be doing too.

"Setting up an obstacle course in your house," Crowson said. "Using TV remote and seeing if you can balance on your left foot while you touch it to the ground, hoping over things, jumping, putting socks on your feet and sliding on a hard kitchen floor, those are all great ways to get active."

Along with exercise, Dr. Cox said making sure your child has access to healthy foods, is also important.

"The biggest thing is getting appropriate amounts of fruits and vegetables, eliminating the sugary beverages, getting appropriate portion sizes, and then limiting TV and increasing physical activity," Dr. Cox said.

Both experts also say including children in the cooking process and having family dinners can help.

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