Overweight children experience many health related issues while still young, and even more as adults. It's a well documented fact that children who are overweight or obese are much more likely to become overweight or obese adults. But children who are too heavy according to the body mass index (BMI) formula need to lose weight in childhood, and not wait until they are grown.
You are so right -- overweight children first should be examined for medical issues which can cause them to be overweight, such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance or type II diabetes (yes, children can get those), along with other health problems.
Following a complete medical workup, they need to be taught the proper foods to eat. If they are taught to eat properly as children, they are much more likely to eat healthy for a lifetime, which will (hopefully) prevent yo-yo dieting, illness, etc. Sugary/salty snacks should be limited.
They also need to be taught to play - physical exercise, as opposed to playing video games or watching TV. Outdoor play is awesome because it gives children the opportunity to run, jump, play sports, etc.
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