Thursday, August 30, 2007

How To Prevent Childhood Obesity

by George Godoy

Childhood obesity is the result of an interaction between food, state of mind, family and the environment. One of the problems is the sedentary life that many children lead, playing computer and video games or watching television instead of being physically active. The greatest problem causing childhood obesity is the foods that make up their diet.

Foods

Unfortunately, many TV commercials tout foods that can be best classified as unhealthy. Children crave what they see on TV and in movie theaters and they may not realize what these foods will do to their bodies. A typical fast food meal has an energy density 150% more than an average traditional meal. An interesting fact states that children who ate fast food at least twice a week and gained ten pounds were more likely to develop diabetes. Fast foods are not considered part of a healthy eating pattern, even though some fast-food franchises have been introducing fruits, salads, and bottled water for healthier choices.

Parents

Many parents struggle to know which foods are healthy for their children. When parents did select healthy foods, 65% said they struggled to motivate their children to eat it. Instead of focusing on a diet for one child in the family, focus on improving the health of all family members by removing junk foods from the home, and preparing or purchasing meals that are low in fat and sugar.

Activity

It's a vicious-circle kind of problem. But something must be done to ensure physical activity is a part of every child's life. Studies have shown that increasing your exercise level, working up to 30 minutes a day, or having some form of moderate activity will bring good results. Ask for support from friends and family; likewise, support the people in your life who are trying to be physically active. The trends indicating increased death risk due to poor diet, weight gain/obesity, and little or no physical activity are going up due to changes in our environment. The bottom line is this - children look for role models. If they see the adults that influence their lives exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet, they will be more apt to do those things as well. Participating in fun family activities could include a walk, a bike ride, playing at the playground and shooting hoops on the basketball court.

The solution to the childhood obesity epidemic is not an easy one, nor will it be solved overnight. Parents, schools, support organizations and government agencies all need to work together to combat this problem.

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Wait! Don't take your child to McDonald's. A well crafted plan and this secret weapon can transform your child from fat to fit. Find out how to get both ... click here!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Teen Dieting to Fight Obesity

by Morten Hansen


We have the highest teenage and childhood obesity rates today than at any other point in the world's long history. Much of the blame for this is on the fast food, low energy society that we have become. Far too often we feel that it is safer to keep our children inside our homes rather than out and about in the great outdoors. The things we are doing for the protection of our children are actually detrimental to the health of our children, and relating to this health issue, it is important that we think of Teen Dieting.

There are things however that are being done to address the problem and get our children more involved, more active, and better educated about making the proper choices about diet, nutrition, fitness, and overall health. The problem for most teens is getting them off the computer, phone, or away from the television long enough to get active.

Even video games are getting in on the act of getting children up and active by creating games such as Play Station 2's Dance Party Revolution and the new Nintendo Wii gaming system that seem to be taking the market by storm. These systems allow consumers, to actively participate in the game play adventure rather than sitting back and playing the game in a static environment.

It is a great way to get teens off their seats and active. These games are also fun for adults and will have the same effects when it comes to activity. Whoever thought we'd be actually encouraging game play for exercise ?

Get Outside and Get Active

Teens learn by example and whether they care to admit it or not, they typically enjoy doing things as part of the family. Go rock wall climbing or mountain climbing. Go bike riding as a family. Camp in the great out doors and go hiking, boating, or biking yet again. Learn a new sport together.

It's amazing how much fun you can have learning how scuba dive and while you are at it, neither of you will be consuming empty calories. Even if the sport you take up together doesn't involve a lot of physical activity it is quite likely more active than sitting in front of the television.

Have your teen join a recreational sports team. We have all kinds of sports teams available in our community in which our teens can join. Even those with no skills at all can join and play in some of the leagues while other leagues are competitive. Getting out and about for a softball game, soccer game, and even volleyball can be a great way for the family to do something together and the games and practices are opportunities for your teen to be active.

Lawn work is another way to get out and get active with your teen. The key, as always, is in your teen burning more calories than he or she consumers. It is often easier said than done but it is quite possible if you work to get them out and about.

Find things however that will be interesting to your teen and focus on those rather than torturing them with activities that hold no interest at all (well maybe not the yard work). At any rate, filling their time with activities is also allowing time that they aren't consuming calories as well and that is something worth considering.

Encourage your teen to think teen dieting and eat healthier foods. Eliminate calorie-loaded sods, fruit juices, and energy drinks from your pantry shelves, and encourage your teens to drink plenty of water each day.

Introduce as many vegetables as possible to the diet of your teens and get rid of the prepackaged convenience goodies that teens are notorious for depleting in one sitting. Also having your teens actively participate in the preparation and clean up for meals will help them pay more attention to the things they put into their mouths as well as the messes they make in the process. Overall get the whole family involved in Teen Dieting, because this will help your teens healthy.

About the Author
Morten Hansen has been working with the Dieting area for several years and is mainly writing about subjects, which makes it easier for Internet users to learn about Dieting subjects. For more details about the Dieting Area visit our website www.DietingTips4you.com

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Childhood Obesity and Fast Food

by George Godoy


Due to the busy lifestyles of two income households, the demand for quick and easy microwaveable food, fast food and snack foods have increased drastically. It is estimated that 22 million of the world's children under 5 are overweight or obese and approximately one in four American children are overweight.

Perhaps the advertising of fast foods, and busy life styles has contributed to this. Given our fondness for fast food (an ever-growing fondness, due to ever-busier lives) and our tendency to "supersize," it's easy to imagine that caloric intake is the crux of the obesity problem. Along with our lack of physical activity comes the convenience of fast food. It's important to move away from all those ready-to-eat processed foods which contain almost no nutritional value (and are actually breaking the body down) and head instead to fresh, healthy foods.

First and foremost, require that your child finish his or her healthy meal before any "treat" type foods are made available. Stock your refrigerator with low-fat milk, water, or fruit juices made from real fruit. A healthy breakfast of milk with wholemeal wheat biscuits and a fruit is a good start for the day.

Try some of these ideas for school lunches and snacks: baby carrots rather than chips, fruit cups, turkey sandwiches cut in fun shapes on whole grain bread. It's simply not an option to choose those refined sugar-loaded gummy bears when gummy fruit juice snacks in every shape and size are a mere isle or two away. Also, lets bring vegetables and fruit back into our lives. Does your family have five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily?

The benefits to physical exercise are extremely important as it will reduce the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, along with reducing or maintaining body weight. Since overweight children often avoid playing with other children because of the teasing and tormenting they receive, you may need to exercise with your child. Children are overweight because they eat inappropriate amounts and types of food and they don't exercise enough. Plan a regiment of exercise that is fun and stimulating like brisk walks, bicycle rides, hiking or swimming.

With bad eating habits, a fatty diet and some hereditary influence some kids are doomed to battle childhood obesity late into their twenties. If the family as a whole learns about healthy eating and cooks new healthy recipes together, kids won't feel they are being singled out. Take a long term approach - healthy lifestyles develop slowly over time, and remember, your kids watch you and learn from your example.


About the Author
Wait! Don't take your child to McDonald's. A well crafted plan and this secret weapon can transform your child from fat to fit. Find out how to get both ... click here!

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Monday, August 6, 2007

Childhood Obesity Nutrition - What You Can Do Today

by George Godoy


Sitting in front of a screen sipping sugary drinks and eating fatty foods is a daily fact of life for most American kids. The prevalence of overweight and obese children has increased from 15% in 1971 to more than 30% in 2000.

Western diets are oozing with more fat and sugar than ever before, while children are becoming more complacent and getting less physical exercise by sitting in front of computers all day, and in front of TV sets at night. These activities, along with the lack of physical exercise programs in our schools, are not providing the energy that a child's body requires to burn off calorie intake.

Indeed, the risk factors for childhood obesity read like a checklist of ailments that only a generation ago would never have been linked to children and diet: heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, and of course, social ridicule and alienation. The reality is that American families are surrendering our youth to a silent epidemic - childhood obesity.

One of the biggest problems in children's diets today is that of carbonated soft drinks. Because of the fact that there is absolutely no nutritional value in these drinks, it is crucial that they are eliminated from the diet. Instead, substitute them with fresh juices and other sugar-free drinks. By creating a soft drink free environment at home and teaching your child about healthier alternatives, you can help change their thought process.

You should also try making a list of healthy foods everyone agrees on and point out the health benefits to your kids. Children must be provided with foods that are nutritionally sound, and foods that they actually enjoy eating.

Instead of focusing on a diet for only one child in the family, focus on improving the health of all family members by removing junk foods, (remember carbonated soft drinks) from the home, and instead prepare or purchase meals that are low in fat and sugar.

Making a realistic plan that will take a short time to complete will allow you to quickly adapt new eating habits, showing your children that there are an endless variety of foods. In turn, this will make them aware of the things they eat and their effect on weight and body.


About the Author
Wait! Don't take your child to McDonald's. A well crafted plan and this secret weapon can transform your child from fat to fit. Find out how to get both ... click here!

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Facts About Childhood Obesity In America

by George Godoy


The percentage of obese or overweight children in America has roughly doubled between 1971 and 2000. The prevalence of overweight and obese children has increased from 15% in 1971 to more than 30% in 2000.

Health problems increase with obesity on a rise. Obesity among children is a health crisis in the United States and a terrifying reality. Some experts claim that if something is not done to stop childhood obesity immediately we will witness a whole generation becoming twice as heavy as its parents and grandparents were, with this gain of weight other health risks are becoming more and more evident and have a huge effect on larger groups.

So what should we as parents do?

It would be unrealistic to think of eliminating television from your child's life, though this is a popular concept. There are many programs on television these days that are beneficial to your child's development. According to many reports watching television is the most engaging activity, except sleeping, for many kids. Although, as a result, kids who spend more time watching television also eat more of the low-nutrient and calorie-dense foods.

Any outdoor activity that is fun will teach a young child to love and appreciate what lies outside the 40" Sony television set. It has also been found that children who watch more than five hours of television a day are almost five times more likely to be overweight than children who watch two hours or less - with excessive TV viewing considered to contribute to 60 percent of the risk of obesity in children.

Parents can set a good example by providing healthy meals and not eating junk food themselves, but it's important to allow some treats, as being over strict is likely to cause friction and could be counterproductive.

It is clear that any long-term solution for obese or overweight children in America must be fought on four major fronts: physical activity, sedentary behavior, socioeconomic status, and eating habits. This is easier said than done; especially when emotional eating or an unobserved food addiction may fuel adverse eating habits.

Children's lifestyles are generally a reflection of those who raise them so parents need to figure heavily in any strategies put forward to improve the health and well being of the next generation.


About the Author
Wait! Don't take your child to McDonald's. A well crafted plan and this secret weapon can transform your child from fat to fit. Find out how to get both ... click here!

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