Obesity expert says parents should ban seconds

It doesn’t take many extra calories for children to become obese.

January 18 2017

Dr Clare Llewellyn a lecturer in behavioural obesity research at the University College London said it doesn’t take many extra calories for children to become obese, making it difficult for parents to notice.

Speaking at an obesity meeting at the Royal Society of Medicine in Central London, Dr Llewellyn said: “Overweight children get 12 calories extra calories every time they eat. At this stage as a parent 12 calories is completely invisible to the naked human eye,” The Telegraph, London reports.


Getty Images

Getty Images


Llewellyn added that it’s up to parents to intervene. “What this data indicates is that all parents should be being vigilant about portion control, so a no seconds policy.

“The best indicator of whether you need to be more vigilant is how quickly your child is growing. One of the huge issues at the moment in the UK is that there is very little concern about rapid growth in infancy and much more concern about failure to thrive, which is completely understandable because failure to thrive can be incredibly serious.

“But actually as time goes on what we realise is that as time goes parents do need to be educated about what a healthy growth rate looks like and if a child is crossing centiles upwards that’s something that does need to be addressed.”

Speaking afterwards, the Daily Mail reports, Llewellyn said some children will keep eating food if offered, even if they aren’t hungry.

"The take-home message is that overweight and obese children are not eating radically different things or a huge amount more - they are eating a tiny bit more and that builds up over time.

"There is no need for parents to keep laying out lashings of extra food on their plates when a child is getting three meals a day and two snacks."