Weight Gain in Juvenile Arthritis

Posted on July 26, 2019

Written By: Lisa Perry, RDN, Lisa Perry Nutrition, lisaperryrdn@gmail.com

Children with Juvenile Arthritis (JA) can gain excess weight, as a result of the medications used in the treatment and limited physical activity. Excess weight can put added pressure on joints.
Encourage healthful nutrition to support JA, instead of focusing on dieting for weight loss. Offer plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthful fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Highly processed foods, such as chips, soda, and sugary treats, may contribute to inflammation of the joints. 
Teaching a child to eat according to their hunger and fullness cues can help with weight management. Forcing a child or teen to follow a diet that is too restrictive can lead to eating disorders. 
If a child or teen turns to food for comfort, encourage them to find activities and hobbies that they enjoy, rather than reaching for food. Focusing on an activity, rather than food, may discourage unhealthy eating behaviors. 
Talk to your child’s doctor before beginning any type of diet program.