‘Help! My child is overweight!” That was the cry of a desperate mom in YOU last week – a cry many South African parents understand all too well.
At age nine Sonja van Zyl of Bethal in Mpumalanga weighs 64 kg, as much as an adult woman. She’s overweight and unhappy and her family are at their wits’ end.
And dieticians say she’s not alone – there are thousands of children like Sonja who urgently need to lose weight.
Bloemfontein dieticians Ilsabé Spoelstra and Ecila du Bruyn see seriously overweight children every month. “It’s a growing problem,” Spoelstra says. “I often see the successes, the relapses and the failures.
“The goal for Sonja and kids like her is for them to grow into their correct weight. If they can just keep their weight constant as they grow taller they could be in a really good place in a year or two. You want them to grow into good habits, not coach them to diet.”
Read more of Danél Blaauw’s article and get the eating plan in YOU 28 February 2013.