• Children's Center

    Helping overweight kids get healthier

child's feet on a scale obesity

Children around the world are battling increased obesity. A study published in the Lancet reports the number of obese children and adolescents is rising.

More than 1,000 researchers collaborated to study almost 130 million people from 1975 to 2016. They found that the number of obese children and adolescents rose to 124 million in 2016. That's more than 10 times higher than was recorded in 1975.

Mayo Clinic pediatric psychologist Dr. Bridget Biggs says this also means overweight kids are being diagnosed with what had been adult-onset diseases. "We’re seeing kids with Type 2 diabetes. We’re seeing kids with fatty liver disease, sleep apnea," says Dr. Biggs. She says one of the best strategies for reducing childhood obesity is to improve the eating and exercise habits of your entire family.

Many factors can contribute to weight issues during childhood, including:

  • Diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Family factors
  • Psychological issues
  • Socioeconomic conditions

In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Dr. Biggs offers ideas for promoting healthy living at your house.

Watch: How to help overweight kids.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (1:00) is in the downloads. Read the script.

Learn more about childhood obesity from Dr. Biggs in this Mayo Clinic Radio podcast, which originally aired Nov. 12, 2016.