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You as a parent, should consider a weight loss program for your child, when the methods used at home are not effective for him/her to have a healthy weight and your physician has determined previously, that his/her health is at risk.

The main features of a Professional Weight Control Program are:

  • A team of specialized health professionals. Top programs include pediatricians, nutritionists, physical therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists and family therapists.
  • Before starting the treatment, a physician must evaluate the weight, growth and health of your child. During the treatment, the weight, size, growth and health should be monitored at regular intervals.
  • To focus on the whole family, not just on the overweight child.
  • To be adapted to the age and specific capabilities of the child.
  • To focus on behavior changes and lifestyle.
  • To teach the child how to select a variety of foods in adequate portions.
  • To encourage daily physical activity.

For children under age 7 who have no other risk factor to their health, the goal may be to maintain rather than to lose weight. This strategy allows the child to grow in size and to keep the BMI within a healthy range. However, for an obese child, maintaining weight can be as difficult as losing weight for an adult.

Weight loss is usually recommended for children over 7 years old, or for younger children who have related medical conditions. Weight loss should be slow and steady, between 500 gr. Per week and 500 gr. per month, depending on each case.

The methods to maintain or lose weight are the same: a healthy diet and an increase in physical activity.