New guidelines for England state that children should be encouraged to keep food and activity diaries in a bid to tackle growing obesity problems.
Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) make a raft of recommendations, including greater support from local authorities, but say families are at the heart of managing the issue. Parents are suggested to support their children by cooking healthy meals, eating together and increasing the distances they walk, such as walking to school.
Through logging what they eat and do, children and their parents can get a better idea if how to improve their health. Time spent on the computer and watching TV should also be logged, to get a better idea of how long children are being inactive.
The guidelines also stress the importance of helping parents and carers recognise that their child is overweight. A National Opinion Poll involving more than 1,000 parents of children aged between four and seven showed that only 14% of those with an obese child considered that their child was overweight.
Professor Mike Kelly, Director of the Centre for Public Health at NICE, said: "We are recommending family-based lifestyle programmes are provided which give tailored advice.
"These programmes will also support parents to identify changes that can be done at home to tackle obesity - and maintained over the long term. Many of them are things we should all be doing anyway, including healthy eating, getting the whole family to be more active and reducing the amount of time spent watching TV and playing computer games.
"Being overweight or obese has a significant impact on a child's quality of life. It can affect their self-esteem and they are more likely to be bullied or stigmatised."
Original Source BBC News
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