Your Health: How young is too young to diet? - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Your Health: How young is too young to diet?

How young is too young to diet? One doctor said there is no minimum age. How young is too young to diet? One doctor said there is no minimum age.
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate. We found a four month old baby, who his doctor said is actually the size of a two year old, very much overweight.

So, how young is too young to diet? We asked people that question. 

"I would say, 13? Why do you say that - as a mom? Because there's so many different things going on: hormones, there's brain growth," Evelyn Manning said. 

Angelia Conner thinks it could be a little younger. "The age of nine and under is too young to diet. Once they, you know, get into the teens, I think you really should watch them."

Decatur's Shelia White thinks it should be much later. "Well, [I] think you need to be an adult before you decide to diet. I don't even think you should tell kids they're fat or they're skinny. I think a parent should take the responsibility to feed their children like they're suppose to be fed and you know, give them the right kind of diet."

Pediatrician Dr. Melissa Young-King said she's seen a rapid increase of overweight children in her pediatric practice. Is there such a thing as too young to diet?

"Actually not, because we do growth checks on a periodic basis, [even] health supervision visits. And we actually plot the growth of children, and we have found, as you mentioned, that we get bigger and bigger," said Young-King.

She said parents should always take weight into consideration for their child. "We do go over the caloric intake of the baby."

Being overweight can also cause other health problems. "Fatty liver disease is a marker for obesity and a precursors of cardiac disease, and we're seeing that as young as three years old in our practice here," added Young-King.

One reason, experts point to, is a sedentary lifestyle in front of a TV or computer rather than running and playing outside.

If you're not certain where your child is in terms of weight, ask the pediatrician to go by the growth chart and you can tell if your child needs to shed a few calories.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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