Your family is the best influence for showing your child how to manage their weight.
That's the advice of the childhood obesity experts for keeping a child's weight down.
Dr Shirley Alexander, specialist in child obesity at The Children's Hospital Westmead, says: "Try and get the whole family to develop healthier lifestyle habits and through that, hopefully get some weight-loss in the children."
The most recent official figures suggest as many as one in four school-aged children fits into the category of being mildly overweight to obese.
A growing problem
Paying attention to what and how children eat is the first step towards parents and carers being able manage their children's weight.
Changes in our eating habits over many years have dramatically affected our calorie intake. Up to one-third of children's intake today can be what Shirley calls wasted calories.
These tend to be calories in high-energy foods like chips, sweets and sweet drinks, and should only be eaten as treats.
"They're empty calories. They don't provide anything else. They don't provide any vitamins or minerals or any other useful nutrition," says Shirley.
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