Healthy Weight 


The rate of safe weight loss for each child depends on many factors.  For children who are only mildly or moderately overweight and are still growing in height, simply maintaining their weight at the current level may allow them to "grow into their weight" and come down to a healthy BMI.  Remember that BMI is weight divided by height squared, so an increase in height of only a few inches, with weight remaining the same, will lower the BMI greatly.  

If an overweight child has stopped growing, or is still growing but is very overweight, some doctors and dietitians recommend losing 1-2 pounds (1/2 to 1 kg) per week as a rate of safe weight loss1,2,3.  Others recommend losing only one pound (1/2 kg) per month4.  

Your doctor can assess your need to lose weight and recommend a safe rate of weight loss for you.  Please consult with your doctor or healthcare professional before undertaking a weight loss program.  And if you are undertaking weight loss, it is important to weigh yourself at least once a week, so that you do not lose more than the amount recommended by your doctor.

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1)  Kreipe, RE, Seminar on Management of Obesity in Primary Care, American Academy of Pediatrics Annual Meeting, October 2000.

2) Williams CL, Campanaro LA, Squillace M, Bollella M., Management of childhood obesity in pediatric practice., Ann N Y Acad Sci 1997 May 28;817:225-40

3) Daum, M., The CAN-DO Eating Plan for Overweight Children and Teens., Avon Books, New York, 1997 (personal communication).

4)  Barlow, SE and Dietz, WH., Obesity evaluation and treatment: expert committee recommendations. Journal of Pediatrics 1998; 102(3):e29

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