Helping your child reach a healthy weight


boy laughing at camera

How do I know if my child is overweight?

A child is considered obese if their body mass index (BMI) is at or above the 95th percentile. BMI has to do with your child’s age, weight and height. You can talk to your child’s doctor to learn more.

Weight and health problems

September is National Child Obesity Awareness Month. According to the CDC, one in five children in the United States are affected by obesity.

If your child is overweight, they may have a higher risk of health problems like:

  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart disease.

The good news is that childhood obesity can be prevented.

Read this article to learn more about no-cost help for managing your child’s weight.

What causes childhood obesity?

There are a few reasons your child may have a higher risk of being overweight. According to Mayo Clinic, these can include:

  • A high-calorie or sugary diet.
  • A lack of exercise.
  • Stress.

 Boy running under a colorful parachute on a grassy field

Help your child reach a healthy weight

Here are three tips to help your child reach a healthy weight.

  • Get active. Walk around the neighborhood, go on a bike ride or play outside.
  • Limit screen time. Keep extra screen time (such as playing video games or watching TV) to two hours a day or less.
  • Make healthy meals. Buy and serve more vegetables, fruits and whole-grain foods.

The CDC also offers practical information for parents to help children and teens keep a healthy weight. Visit the CDC website to read more.

Healthy Weight for Life

The Alliance also offers Healthy Weight for Life (HWL) program workshops. These workshops teach parents how to help children ages 2 to 18 reach a healthy weight. The program includes new ways for parents to support their child, make lifestyle changes, eat healthy and be more active.

Your child’s doctor can refer your child to the HWL program. You can also sign up by calling the Alliance Health Education Line at 800-700-3874, ext. 5580.

When you attend a 10-week workshop, you can receive a Target gift card for up to $100. You will also be entered into a raffle for the chance to win a bike.


Did you find this information helpful?

About the contributor:

Maureen Wolff Stiles

Maureen Wolff Stiles works as Digital Communications Content Specialist for the Communications Department at Central California Alliance for Health (the Alliance). She works with a variety of the health plan’s experts to strategically tailor informative, engaging materials for members, providers and the communities the Alliance serves. Maureen has been with the Alliance since 2021. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.

Written in collaboration with subject matter expert: Desirre Herrera, Quality and Health Programs Manager