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Children and obesity: What can parents do to help?

Following a controversial commentary published last week in the Journal of American Medical Association, the ever-growing childhood obesity epidemic is once again the subject of many headlines and roundtable discussions. Today, as a guest on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Stanford pediatrician Thomas Robinson, MD, MPH, took on the issue and responded to listeners’ calls and e-mails. Many parents, he said, don’t know how to solve their child's weight problems - and some don't know how to identify if their child needs help in the first place.

Robinson, who runs the Center for Healthy Weight at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and serves on the Institute of Medicine’s standing committee on childhood obesity prevention, says the most important thing for parents is to set a good example, and he offered up two simple suggestions: Turn off the TV and don’t bring foods you don’t want your children eating into the home. "If you know that they shouldn't be drinking sodas all the time... then you shouldn't have them in your home," Robinson said.

Previously: Smaller plates may be a tool to curtail childhood obesity, Obesity in kids: A growing epidemicStanford pediatrician discusses developing effective program to curtail childhood obesity, Major effort launched to prevent, treat childhood obesity and Does TV watching, or prolonged sitting, contribute to child obesity rates?

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