Addressing your Child's Weight at the Doctor

Updated:Aug 4,2014

Addressing Your Child's Weight at the DoctorThe discussion of weight is never comfortable, especially when it pertains to your child. But talking with your healthcare provider about any concerns you might have can help you and your child feel at ease in the long run.

Here are some tips on how to make talking with your doctor about weight and childhood obesity less daunting:
  • Come prepared with your concerns. Write down all your questions and concerns about your child’s weight on a piece of paper before you visit the doctor. Be sure to ask for clarification if there is anything you don’t understand. By having your questions prepared and handy, you will be less likely to forget things and ease the comfort of the conversation.
  • If you are uncomfortable discussing the topic of weight in front of your child, ask the doctor for a time when you can ask your questions over the phone or even step briefly into another room to discuss your concerns.
  • If you are having the discussion in front of your child, begin to discuss aspects of healthy living before the visit so he/she doesn’t feel attacked. In the week before the appointment, have conversations about what they think it means to be healthy, physically active or to eat well. By making the overall topic familiar with your child, they will be less likely to feel overwhelmed when you address it again with the doctor.
  • If you have a concern, be sure to voice it. Just because your doctor does not bring up the topic of your child’s weight, doesn’t mean there isn’t an issue.
  • Ask the doctor for recommendations and resources. If there is an issue with your child’s weight, ask what the next steps should be. AHA has many resources on our Healthier Kids website as well, but your physician will be able to give you the best starting point for your child.
  • Make it a family issue. Talking about the health and habits of the entire family will create a supportive environment and keep individual children from feeling targeted. The motivation of making changes together as a team will help everyone achieve their health goals.
By working through the discomfort of the topic and addressing potential issues, you are investing in your child’s health and future. Take the time to ask your questions and seek out the answers, your child will thank you.

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Last reviewed 8/2014

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