Obesity information for parents in Dorset


Some of our children and young people are not active enough or are not eating the right foods that will keep them fit, happy and healthy in the future. As parents we all want our children to grow up to be happy, healthy adults, but sometimes it is hard to know how. You are in an ideal position to talk to your child about the importance of eating healthily and being active and also to make some small changes in order to help them make healthy choices now and in the future.

Your child will more than likely adopt similar habits to you and therefore if your habits are not that healthy then your child is going to be following in your footsteps. It may be that you want to make eating and activity changes as a family to support each other.


•  Nine out of 10 of our kids today could grow up with dangerous amounts of fat in their bodies. This can cause life-threatening diseases like cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

• Young people who are overweight or obese are more likely to be bullied and excluded from social activities.  This can lead to reluctance to going to school, truancy and low self esteem

•  Young people who are overweight or obese are more likely to have emotional problems such as loneliness, sadness and depression, and in many cases turn to food for comfort creating a vicious cycle of more eating and weight gain

•  Repeated taunts and criticism about their weight can in some cases result in refusal to eat and lead to an eating disorder

•  Stressful events or big events can contribute to unhealthy eating patterns

Warning signs:

Some of these behaviours are normal, but several of the warning signs seen together may be an indication that your child is at risk. For help and advice contact one of the organisations listed below

•  Avoiding physical activity because they may be embarrassed about their body, or lacking in energy
•  Becoming breathless when going up a flight of stairs or excess sweating when physically active
•  Not eating properly at mealtimes could indicate that a young person has been filling up on snacks and junk food
•  Eating for comfort after a hard or stressful day
•  Binge eating and hoarding high calorie snacks
•  Breast growth in boys and early puberty
•  Weight related health problems such as joint pains, asthma and diabetes
•  Sleep problems

Where to get help:

Please contact your GP or health professional if you have any concerns about your child’s weight or the effect that your child’s weight is having on their emotional and physical health.

For further information:

Healthy Start:
Helping you give your child the best start in life, this website offers advice to families receiving certain benefits on how they can get free milk, fruit, vegetables and vitamins.

Change for Life:
Offers a range of information and tools to help you make small and realistic changes to your lifestyle and helps you track progress.




Bullying & Cyber Safety

Truancy & Antisocial behaviour

Subtance Use and Smoking Alcohol
Sexual Health & Teenage Pregnancy Self Harm
Eating Disorders Obesity