A mother of an 8 year old boy asked me for advice for an 8 year old child who she believes he is gaining weight fast lately. His height is 126 centimeters and his weight is 36 kilograms. Her question was should I put him on an exercise plan?( I don’t give him junk food or let him overeat and his current physical activity is playing with his friends.) Any suggestions
Hello Sizwe Gumede,
That is a question for the child’s doctor who can see the growth chart and the past history. This child may be in the higher percentage all along which is normal for him. People come in all shapes and sizes.
Children also grow up, then out, then up, then out, cycling that way. Now add in a growth spurt in one of those cycles.
Having a healthy lifestyle and speaking with the doctor will ease any worries. I speak as a personal trainer and parent.
Kids tend to go through phases where they might become overweight for periods of time. From my experience working with younger athletes, many of them outgrow these phases on their own, if they are not at the extreme ends of the scale. Looking at someone, you can tell whether or not the child just has a little extra weight, or if they have serious problems. I have seen athletes that would be considered overweight, who came back 6-8 months later and who went through a growth spurt and had become normal weight.
According to this link this child is in the 97th percentile. So, according to this scale he is larger than others, but whether that is a good or bad thing is not such an easy question.
I would emphasize sports and fitness above all else. This kid is only 8 years old so make everything fun. No HITT intervals and excessive methods. Have him sign up for soccer or teach him a basic calisthenics routine. Remember that weight alone is not the best indicator of health. A child that has a high level of physical fitness will likely be healthy even if they are carrying some extra weight.