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Thabo Shole-Mashao chats with Dr. Nosipho Maponya, pediatrician at Mediclinic Muelmed

  • How to tell if your child is overweight
  • Family eating habits and childhood obesity
  • Language and how it can affect children’s self-esteem
Junk food, burger and apples. Image: Pixabay

Childhood obesity is said to be a rapidly growing disease in the world.

Gradual weight gain to eventual obesity begins in the early years of a child’s life and can continue into adulthood.

According to findings from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, more than 14% of primary school learners in South Africa are overweight.

Obesity poses a serious health risk to children that can persist into adulthood, some of which can be life-threatening.

How can families sensitively manage an overweight child?

Thabo Shole-Mashao chats with Dr. Nosipho Maponya, pediatrician at Mediclinic Muelmed.

A child needs to be checked, hormonal levels, thyroid everything to see if [a] the child has metabolic problems before we say [they are overweight].

Dr Nosipho Maponya, pediatrician at Mediclinic Muelmed

Maponya says that if a child happens to be obese due to poor diet, then the whole family should consider healthy eating.

We can’t give a kid something healthy when you have [unhealthy food]. So it’s a family affair so you can cheer [the child].

Dr Nosipho Maponya, pediatrician at Mediclinic Muelmed

Maponya says that if a child does not eat healthy, it will affect some of their organs.

The lungs are going to be affected because the lungs are full of fat.

Dr Nosipho Maponya, pediatrician at Mediclinic Muelmed

Maponya encourages parents to also watch the language they use when talking to children about their weight.

Also, the most important thing is self-esteem. Most of these kids are so depressed because of it.

Dr Nosipho Maponya, pediatrician at Mediclinic Muelmed


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