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What the future holds

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child obesity overweight depressed unhappy lonely bullying
Tread carefully

Telling a child directly that they are overweight could upset them and so this needs to be handled sensitively. However, we know that a lot of overweight children get teased and bullied about their weight, but are too embarrassed to talk about it with their parents. Giving children a chance to talk about their size can help them to feel that you are on their side, willing to help and might be the first step to tackling the problem.

Will the problem go away by itself?

Unfortunately, probably not. Research shows that 70% of children who are overweight at 11 years old will become obese young adults. And while the chances are less in younger children, they are still at risk.

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What's more, some children who feel unhappy about their size might try to lose weight on their own by skipping meals, avoiding certain foods or other more harmful practices such as using laxatives. This behaviour could make the problem worse later on.

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