Childhood Obesity and Behavior Problems

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A study out of the Univ. of Michigan shows direct link between childhood obesity and behavior problems. The results published in the journal "Pediatrics" shows children with behavior problems are nearly three times as likely to be overweight as other children. Additionally, children who were at a normal weight, but had behavior problems, were five times as likely to become overweight later.

Researchers followed 755 kids aged 8 to 11. Recent statistics show 1 out of every 5 children between the ages of 6 and 11 is overweight. While more attention is being paid to the physical risks of being overweight, this new study serves as a wake up call for parents, teachers, and physicians to pay more attention to the emotional needs of kids.

"If you can identify the emotional issues, you can be aware of those but treat the person as a whole. You can emphasis the healthy habits, but help the child gain the self esteem back," Dr. Scott Rosenfeld, Pediatrician.

If a parent is overweight, they can help a child by exercising with them. That way, the child won't feel alienated, and it can help the family as a whole. Kids would be more likely to turn to the parent for comfort, rather than food.