Weight Management

Naples Pediatrics

Pediatrician located in Naples, FL

Children depend on the adults in their lives to teach them how to follow healthy habits. This guidance is vital when weight gain is a concern and weight management is necessary. Dr. Paul Irra at Naples Pediatrics in Naples, Florida, is here to help parents and their children who have gained weight. Please contact us to learn how we will work with you to develop a gentle and compassionate weight management plan that’s specially designed for your child and developed to work for your family.

Weight Management Q&A

Does being overweight cause health problems in children?

When children and teens are overweight, it’s tempting to think that they’re young and they have plenty of time to lose weight. However, even at a young age, being overweight affects their health, causing changes in their metabolism and body that increase their risk of developing serious health problems.

Children who are overweight or obese have a higher incidence of:

  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal blood levels of fats
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Skin infections
  • Knee, thigh, and hip pain
  • Back pain
  • Liver disease
  • Gallstones
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Menstrual abnormalities
  • Severe headaches with visual disturbances

How can a pediatrician help with weight management?

Every time children visit a pediatrician, their height and weight are measured and recorded, so the doctor has a growth record showing changes in their weight. Your doctor at Naples Pediatrics can also calculate body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of body fat in relation to height. After evaluating this information, and considering your child’s body type, your doctor can determine if weight is a concern.

The pediatricians at Naples Pediatrics work with parents, helping them develop a weight loss plan that’s tailor-made for each child, a plan that might also benefit the entire family. Depending on the age and weight of their child, weight loss during childhood doesn’t always mean making huge changes.

These are just a few possible ways to administer a weight loss plan:

Replace unhealthy calories: After reviewing the child’s typical diet, changes may begin with ideas about how to replace unhealthy calories from sodas over-loaded with sugar or from sweets and salty snacks (like potato chips) to healthy and affordable options.

Weight maintenance: Children older than two who are overweight may only need a weight-maintenance plan that will prevent them from gaining more weight. As they add inches in height without adding pounds, their BMI naturally drops into a healthy range.

Exercise: Finding an activity that your child truly enjoys and replacing screen time with that activity will help with weight loss and improve other aspects of your child’s health. It’s even better when parents and the whole family get out and enjoy the activity together.