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Do you have any advice to help me reduce the weight she is carying around her middle?

Hi,
My daughter is now 4. From the time she was born I noticed she had a bit of a belly and solid legs! However this has been causing some worry over the years as I find it difficult finding pants to fit her, currently she`s in a size 6 and even some size 6 pants are too tight. She is a very active girl and eats well-lots of fruit, dairy, vedgetables and grains. Do you have any advice to help me reduce the weight she is carying around her middle? I don`t know if it`s just her `shape` but I have read reports that carrying weight around the middle can cause diabeties and heart problems.

When she was measured at preschool the results were listed on a board outside, she was not any heavier be a little bit shorter though than the other girls in her class. She is 109 cm and 22.5 kg.
Thanks
Worried mum
Tracey

Leann...
Answer: Hi Tracey, Yes carrying extra body fat around the waist is associated with health concerns, but only in overweight individuals. That`s because there is likely a large accumulation of fat in this area, which is occupied by the liver, heart and so on. Of course excess fat around your important organs isn`t ideal. But in this case, tubby bellies can often just be a consequence of a lack of muscle tone which is normal in children up to about 6ish. They simply don`t develop the muscles to hold all the bits and bobs in tight like older children do. If your little one has been growing at a consistent rate, and as you say is eating a healthy diet and is active, then things are likely to be just a normal process. If you have noticed any sudden jumps or she is still going up the percentiles, then yes it would be a good idea to pop in and get things checked. It doesn`t necessarily have to be poor diet that causes weight changes. More often than not it is genetics at play. And over time you will find her tummy flattens naturally. Avoid restricting her diet, that can be very tricky with the high demands children have due to their rapid rate of growth. If you are still worried I would pop into a CHN or GP and have them check your little one over, they can also help reassure you. All the best, Leanne
Answered: 22 Apr 2009