Kids have a tough time being overweight and obese. A few questions naturally come to mind. Are they only responsible? Are family members or community members responsible? Let’s check whether your kids are exposed to the following facts or not.

1. Kids are getting enough options to pick healthy foods.

2. Availability of unhealthy or fast or junk or processed foods at home and other places.

3. Partial or no nutritional knowledge available to them.

4. Unhealthy food habits of family members.

5. Less or no family time for kids.

6. Availability of digital devices at home, etc.

So, to address overweight and obesity problems among all, especially children, we need to create a supportive environment to adopt and maintain healthy eating practices. For example, family mealtimes, no digital device while eating, food dairy for kids, healthy kids’ food corners at different settings such as restaurants, playgrounds, schools, etc., family funs or games or activities for physical activity and burning calories, discount, and gifts for eating whole healthy foods served as well as not wasting foods, gifts for having fruits and vegetables in meals, etc. are some of the common or new interventions we may implement.
On the other hand, many distractions such as the availability of unhealthy foods at home and other places need to be decreased gradually. Here family members and other caregivers have the primary responsibilities. They need to restrict or curtail the availability of unhealthy foods at home or while going outside. At the same time as a team, we need to evaluate and criticize ourselves before criticizing our kids considering both reward and punishment approaches. As a result, we may have healthy, active, and happy kids who will determine our future.

We need to develop a learning and enabling environment for general people, particularly family members. In addition, professional training and workshops should be enforced regularly to make them up to date about the old, and new dietary guidelines (Helping Your Child Who is Overweight – NIDDK ( These would help directly and indirectly to reduce unnecessary practices by both general and professional people. As a result, we may hope to prevent and control the rate of Kidd’s overweight and obesity problems locally, nationally, and internationally.

To assess the nutritional status of kids, you can calculate BMI Percentile for Children and Teens (2 through 19 years) using the following link: (CDC, References: A8).

You can also check the BMI card using the following link:

BMItable for measuring job aid.xls (

Limitations of BMI:

It was stated by American Medical Association (AMA) that the use of BMI alone is not a perfect measure to assess obesity. (Reference A28: AMA: Use of BMI alone is an imperfect clinical measure | American Medical Association (

If you are interested in kids’ health and nutrition, please use the following links:

Kid’s Nutrition | Learn Nutrition Online (

Weight Management | Learn Nutrition Online (

Child growth standards (

Body mass index (BMI) (

Growth reference data for 5-19 years (

Childhood Obesity Facts | Overweight & Obesity | CDC

Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity | Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity | CDC

Noncommunicable diseases: Childhood overweight and obesity (

Childhood Nutrition Facts | Healthy Schools | CDC

What is MyPlate? | MyPlate

Kid’s Healthy Eating Plate | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

*Featured image credit goes to


By Md. Khurshidul Zahid, Ph.D.

Md. Khurshidul Zahid Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Science (INFS) of The University of Dhaka (DU) of Bangladesh. He has completed his Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University (TTU), USA. He was a finalist in the Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Competition organized by the American Society of Nutrition (ASN), Experimental Biology (EB) meeting held in Boston in 2015. He was also awarded a gold medal by “Professor Dr. Quazi Salamatullah trust foundation” of INFS, DU in 2005.

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