Staying a healthy weight

Advice and tips on keeping your children a healthy weight; including diet, eating habits and exercise.

Is my child overweight?

As a parent, it can sometimes be difficult to identify that your child is overweight. You may notice signs, such as your child getting breathless easily during physical activity or you may be contacted about your child’s weight after your child is weighed and measured at school as part of the National Child Measurement Programme.

Evidence shows that overweight children are more likely to become overweight adults, who are at increased risk of serious health problems. By helping your children stay at a healthy weight you will be helping them to get the best start in life. In adults, being overweight is linked to health problems such as Type 2 diabetes and increased risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

If your child is overweight, then achieving a healthy weight can bring significant health benefits. And as a parent, you can do a lot to help your child achieve a healthy weight. You can find out whether your child is a healthy weight by using NHS Choices healthy weight calculator.

What can I do to keep my family healthy?

Whether your child is overweight or not, it is a good idea for them to pick up good habits when they are young as it is much easier to stay healthy than to lose weight later.

The change4life campaign goal is to enable families to eat well, move more and live longer and the campaign has 8 simple messages for parents to help their children.

The 8 key messages are:

  • Sugar Swaps: Reducing sugar intake
  • 5 A Day: Increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables
  • Meal Time: Having structured meals, especially breakfast
  • Snack Check: Reducing unhealthy snacking
  • Me Size Meals: Reducing portion size
  • Easy On The Fat: Reducing fat consumption
  • 60 Active Minutes: 60 minutes of moderate intensity activity
  • Up & About: Reducing sedentary behaviour especially TV and screen time

What should I do if I am worried about my child’s weight?

If you are worried about your child’s weight you can visit your GP or contact your school nurse or children’s centre. Your local health centre or clinic will be able to put you in touch with your school nurse and a list of children’s centres is available from the Family Information Service.

Call: 0113 378 9700