Parents whose children fall in the "at risk for overweight" category should discuss this with their pediatrician or family physician and should carefully monitor their child's growth. Parents whose children fall in the "overweight" category should make an appointment with their pediatrician or family physician to discuss whether treatment is warranted. Screening for other health risk factors (such as blood pressure or lipid profile) may be recommended by your physician. The BMI is just an initial tool in a series of examinations required to determine if your child is overweight. At no time should a child be diagnosed and labeled overweight by a parent, teacher, or other lay (non-medical) individual. Discussions concerning the child's weight should occur only after reviewing his or her condition with a medical professional.
Pediatricians may need to offer practical information about how parents can obtain the kinds of nutritious foods recommended for children. "For example, in communities where access to fresh vegetables and fruits is limited, informing families about farmers' markets or local grocery stores that have a good supply of frozen or canned vegetables and fruits" may help, the guidelines say. "Pediatricians should also become familiar with federal food assistance programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)."
Kids are indeed eating outside the home more often. Research proves the correlation between recent changes in children's eating patterns and the obesity epidemic. In general, foods available at fast-food establishments, restaurants, vending machines, and other commercial outlets are associated with poor dietary quality and increased intake of empty and excessive calories. Compared to two years ago, kids are also snacking more and consuming calorie-laden, sweetened beverages that contribute to the adverse dietary effects of consuming food away from home.