Kids need 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Make exercise a family outing. Go on walks, hikes, or bike rides together. Eat together. Studies showed that children who shared three or more family meals a week were 20% less likely to eat unhealthy foods and 12% less likely to be overweight. Dieting isn’t the answer when it comes to weight loss for kids. Learn to avoid crash diets and unhealthy habits when your doctor suggests safe weight loss. One study found that children were much more likely to lose weight when their parents also slimmed down. (

One extra soft drink a day gave a child a 60 percent greater chance of becoming obese. One could even link specific amounts of soda to specific amounts of weight gain. Each daily drink added.18 points to a child's body mass index (BMI). This, the researchers noted, was regardless of what else they ate or how much they exercised. "Consumption of sugar- [high fructose corn syrup] sweetened drinks," they concluded, "is associated with obesity in children." (