When your child asks if they are overweight

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When your child asks if they are overweight

Children will often ask their parents if they are fat, if their belly is big. This is a normal question, particularly in the tween years. They are looking for two answers. One is the answer to the question. The other is they are going to be looking to see if you are going to be honest with them. Sometimes it's an easy answer if your child is long and lean and growing well. You can say, "Sweetheart, you look fantastic. Look at yourself in the mirror." It's really easy. A third of the children in this country are obese or overweight. For those families, it can be a very difficult question to answer because you don't want to hurt your child's feelings, but you want to make sure they grow in a health way. The first thing that parents can say is, "What makes you ask that question?" You want to understand where your child is coming from. Eventually, you do need to work as a family to make sure that your family is growing in a healthy way. You do that with a nutritionist or with a pediatrician.

View Cara Natterson, MD's video on When your child asks if they are overweight...


Expert Bio

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Cara Natterson, MD

Pediatrician & Author

Cara Natterson, MD has treated thousands of children and guided their parents as well. She was a partner at Tenth Street Pediatrics in Santa Monica, California, a large group practice serving infants, children and teenagers. She now runs Worry Proof Consulting, the first of its kind pediatric practice that offers parents open-ended time to review everything from medical questions and biology basics to child development and parenting issues. Cara is also the author of several books on parenting and child health. She has a unique ability to translate cutting edge research into understandable terms for parents and their kids. More recently, Cara’s consulting has extended beyond individual families to include fortune 500 companies seeking expert advice on safety issues, child health, and crisis management.

Cara has appeared on television, in print, and on the web. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and she trained in pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco. Cara is a Board certified pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. And anyone who knows her knows that Cara is, by nature, one of the most risk-averse people on earth. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

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