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Obesity and Weight Management

Childhood obesity

09/12/2007

Question:

MY 7 YEAR OLD IS VERY SKINNY EVERYWHERE ON HER BODY BUT HER BELLY IT IS BIG AND VERY EXTENDED, HER PCP SAYS IT IS NORMAL AND HAS NO CONCERN OR RUN ANY TEST THIS SEEMS STRANGE TO ME. AND SUGGESTION WHERE I CAN LOOK FOR HELP OR FIND MORE INFO. THANK

Answer:

The following are common reasons for a large belly and sway back posture in an otherwise healthy child:

The best way to approach your concern is to encourage physical activity of all kinds. For example, climbing is a favorite activity of young children and for good reason. The movements required during climbing strengthen arms, legs, trunk, and abdomen. The trunk and abdominal muscles stabilize the spine. When the spine is stabilized, the stomach becomes more flat and the lower back is less 'sway back'.

Regular checkups by your child's pediatrician are important to assure that no other health problems are contributing to the development of a large belly.

For more information:

Go to the Obesity and Weight Management health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jennifer Shine Dyer, MD, MPH Jennifer Shine Dyer, MD, MPH
Former Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University