Obesity and Children

A frighteningly large number of children are suffering ill health because of obesity and not always from the kinds of diseases you would expect to see in children. Adult diseases are now appearing in younger and younger people and the problem is getting worse. Children are facing high blood pressure, raised cholesterol levels and type 2 diabetes – even those considered ‘only’ mildly obese.

How do I tell if my Child is Overweight?

A simple way of keeping track of a child’s weight is by measuring their waist and height. Everyone – adults included – should try to keep their waist size at less than half their height.

Healthy Kids

Much of the advice in the VVF’s V-plan diet guide applies to children as well as adults. In his book, Dr Spock’s Baby and Child Care, paediatrician Dr Benjamin Spock reckoned the way to get children to lose weight is to change the type of food they eat rather than the amount.

He encouraged shifting the entire family away from oily fried foods, meats and dairy products and toward low-fat, plant-based foods – grains, pasta, vegetables, pulses and fruit. When this is done, he said: "Weight loss typically occurs without anyone going hungry."

The advice is echoed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in their report, Weight Control and Obesity Prevention in Children: "Instead of centring meals around fatty meats and cheese, they should be built from healthy grains, legumes (pulses) and vegetables."

It’s easy to change the entire family’s diet. Click here for our delicious, vegetarian/vegan meal planner!

September 2008

Vital veggies for kids, Yoga & Health

Recipes and advice on how to get kids to eat more veg!

July 2008

Veggie health for kids, Yoga & Health

Slimming and healthy eating advice for the whole family

June 2008

Statement from the Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation (VVF) about children and vegan diets

Winter 2006

The great school dinner makeover: how to make a lunchbox as healthy and tasty as possible

September 2006

Clever capsules may spell disaster for kids...

April 2006

Health charity rejects claims that ditching milk 'stunts infant growth'

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