All About Childhood Obesity

Learn what causes childhood obesity and how it's treated.

Is your child obese? Read on to find out if your child might have a weight problem and how to help him reach a healthy weight.

What is obesity?

Children who are more than 20 percent above the ideal weight for their particular height and age are considered obese. If a child is more than 40 percent overweight, usually his physician will recommend a physician-guided weight-loss program.

If a child gains weight suddenly or steadily as she grows, especially during or just prior to puberty, this should not necessarily be cause for alarm. During this time, a child's need for calories increases, and rapid growth is common. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), weight gain during this time is generally only problematic if it falls into the categorization of 20 percent or more above ideal weight for the child's height and age.

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