How Do Doctors Treat Obesity in Children?

The most effective way to help children who have obesity is for the whole family to make changes in lifestyle and eating habits. Changes that help include:

  • Getting rid of junk food, soda and sugary juices at home
  • Having fruits and vegetables with meals
  • Making meal portions smaller
  • Eating meals with less fat
  • Increasing the amount of exercise your child has every day
  • Decreasing the amount of time that your child spends watching T.V. or playing video games
  • Making sure your child’s bedroom or sleeping areas don’t have a T.V.
  • Helping your child get enough sleep

The good news for families with children who have weight problems is that children are still growing. Children who are still growing do not need to lose much weight. Instead, they need to stop gaining weight until they stop growing. Children who have already reached their adult height might need to lose weight. We can help make a plan for weight loss that is steady and that your child can maintain.

Your child’s medical team can help you and your child make healthy changes that help with weight loss. This team might include your child’s primary care provider, a pediatric endocrinologist, a nutritionist and someone who will help with physical activity. The medical team will also help make sure your child doesn’t have other medical problems that we need to treat.

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Rev. 12/2014. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this webpage. This webpage is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.