Date of this Version



1994, Sponsored by the Extension Services of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota in cooperation with ES-USDA.


Weight is one of the many personal characteristics that distinguish children from each other. It has implications for both the physical and mental health of the child. Unfortunately, it also has the potential for causing many parent-child disagreements about what is or is not eaten and in what amounts.

This research publication answers the following questions:

What is the "right" weight for my child?

What can parents do to help a child who is medically defined as overweight or obese?

How can parents help an underweight child?

What can parents do to help children reach and maintain their best weight?

What actions should a parent avoid?

How can parents help their children avoid future weight problems?