Overweight kids struggle to slim



OVERWEIGHT children are more likely to grow up to be overweight adults, according to a local naturopath.

Natural Health Centre naturopath Michael Smith said recent studies had shown that overweight children stuggled to lose weight later on in life.

'During the first 10 years of development, children can have an increase in production of fat cells, which can be a problem later on,' he said.

Mr Smith said diet and exercise were the most important aspects of the development for children. 'Lack of exercise is one of the biggest concerns now, and children have a lot less freedom than they used to, which means they're spending more time in front of the computer and television and less outside,' he said.

Mr Smith said educating children about healthy lifestyles was as simple as encouraging them to play games outside and providing healthy snacks.

'Parents have to lead by example and have only good things in the cupboard so they're not tempted by junk food,' he said.

A study by the University of Queensland and the Brisbane Mater Hospital found if children were overweight at five-years-old, they were more likely to stay fat at 14-years-old.

It also found overweight parents were more likely to have 'fat children who will grow into fat teenagers if they don't learn healthy living by age five'.



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