Tips to avoid unwanted holiday weight gain

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Parents are being warned that extra Christmas treats for children can turn into extra unwanted weight that can be difficult to lose.

While acknowledging that everyone consumes a little extra at this time of year, the Paediatric Overweight Service Tayside (POST) has said that both adults and children could be in for a shock after the party season ends.

A spokeswoman said: “The average weight gain for an adult over the festive period is seven pounds - half a stone - and many children can put on up to four or five pounds, with some children being known to put on 14 pounds over the two-week Christmas holidays.

“It’s easy for children to inadvertently increase their energy intake with all the Christmas goodies on offer. To burn off the energy from one small 94 gram selection box would require two hours of non-stop walking. A medium 168 gram selection box would take four hours of non-stop walking and a large 253 gram box would take six hours.”

The POST team suggests that parents agree with children not to eat an entire selection box on Christmas day; go for a walk on Christmas Day; give children fruit in their stocking from Santa; reduce the amount of food bought; have a healthy bowl of home-made vegetable soup as part of Christmas dinner.