Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Link Between Salt and Childhood Obesity

by Dick Moss

Childhood obesity has become a major problem among today's youth. While inactivity, fatty foods, and supersizing have been cited as reasons for this epidemic, there's a less obvious factor that is lurking in our food. Salt. That's right, the high salt content of our foods may be a cause of obesity.

HOW SALT INCREASES CALORIE CONSUMPTION

Here's how it works. Salt makes you thirsty. Soft drinks are the drink of choice for thirsty children and adolescents, and half of the soft drinks they consume tend to be sugar-sweetened. Such sugar-sweetened soft drinks contain excess calories that contribute to obesity.

These findings were revealed in a recent study on the link between salty foods, soft drinks and obesity, published in the American Heart Association's journal, "Hypertension."

THE STUDY

The researchers examined a seven-day dietary record of 1688 British children and adolescents, aged 4 to 18 years. Fluid and salt intake was measured and a number of factors such as activity levels were controlled and monitored.

It was found, as has been reported in other studies, that those who consumed more salt also consumed more fluids. It was also found that sugared soft drinks were the preference for thirsty children and adolescents and accounted for over one-third of their total fluid intake. So increased salt intake produced an increase in the consumption of calories via sugared soft drinks. More salt equaled more calories.

Most of the salt was ingested in salty meals and snacks, with only 10-15% of the salt coming out of the salt shaker. Processed foods are notoriously high in salt and are a staple in many family meals.

THE EFFECT ON EXCESS BODY WEIGHT

It was estimated that reducing the salt intake of UK children by half (a decrease of 3 grams, or one-half teaspoon, of salt per day) would result in an average reduction of 2.3 sugar-sweetened soft drinks per week per child. That's a reduction of 224 calories per week per child, or an average of 3.3 pounds per child per year! Five years of reducing such consumption and the average child would be carrying 16 fewer pounds!

DO THESE FIGURES RELATE TO NORTH AMERICA?

These results are extremely relevant to North American children. It has been found that sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption among American children is similar to that of children in the United Kingdom.

OTHER RISKS OF SALT

Salt is a well-known contributor to high blood pressure - a risk factor in heart disease and stroke. Studies have shown that a reduction in salt intake will also produce a drop in blood pressure in children.

REFERENCES

1. Feng J. He, Naomi M. Marrero and Graham A. MacGregor, "Salt Intake is Related to Soft Drink Consumpion in Children and Adolescents: A Link to Obesity? Hypertension (American Heart Association), March 1, 2008.

2. Wang YC, Gortmaker SL, Sobol AM, Kuntz KM. Estimating the energy gap among US children: a counterfactual approach. Pediatrics. 2006.

About the Author
Dick Moss (dm@peUpdate.com) is the editor of Physical Education Update - a website that keeps physical educators and coaches up-to-date on over 40 sports, fitness, coaching, health and physical education topics. The website provides a free newsletter, blog and free articles. Check it out at: http://www.peUpdate.com

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Childhood Obesity: Treating It Is a Must

by James Roddick

Number of children being victimized by obesity is on the ever rise, especially in the US. Childhood obesity is a consequence of interaction of psychological, physiological, nutritional, and familial factors. Did you know that it is a forerunner of obesity amongst the adults? Although it is not always that the obese children become obese adults but its early treatment is beneficial to counter its later consequences.

Wondering how can it be handled? Well, the ideal way is to have a support from your family. Parents often indulge into inculcating faulty food habits including too much of fast foods, chocolates amid others while pampering their children. As they say too much of anything isn't good, these habits in the course of time can be a source for childhood obesity.

Family of an obese child is where he or she spends majority of the time. Thereby inculcating healthy dietary habits and behavioral modification induced by the parents could be a stepping stone towards a healthy lifestyle. For instance, switching over to whole-grain breads rather than whole-wheat breads can be healthy modification in the diet.

Even supportive measures by schools to initiate measures concerning to heath is advisable. After his family, the child spends the majority of his time in school, where his peers as well as teachers are a major source of influence. By encouraging physical workout, schools can lay foundation for a healthy life amongst children.

Appropriate medical help can also be reached for, to get a better idea of the approaches that can be adopted for tackling childhood obesity. Your general practitioner could help you diagnose about the factors that might be the factors working behind childhood obesity.

If not treated at an early stage, childhood obesity doesn't only pave way for adult obesity but it also is a source for pediatric hypertension, stress on weight-bearing joints, besides the ridicule that they might have to deal with due their enormous size.

About the Author
James Roddick is a specialist doctor for healthcare, weightloss and obesity. He has been working in the same field and writes informative articles for weight loss subject. For more information on Obesity, Hoodia, Childhood obesity, Hoodia Gordonii, Diet pills, Obesity visit http://www.hoodiadietpillsonline.co.uk/

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Here's A Quick Way To Stop Childhood Obesity

by Zuez Lacota

Obesity is now obviously one of the major health problems that children the world over have to grapple with. As a matter of extreme urgency, a lot more should be done regarding the problem of child obesity.
If one takes the time to teach children about the dangers associated with being obese, many of them will help themselves get rid of the fat. The kind of food children eat can be responsible for their obesity.

For example, calories and fat are in the food that children eat. To help your child therefore, watch the food he/she eats constantly.

An easy way to do that is to find a nutrition trainer either on the internet or in your hometown. He or she will be able to educate you and assist you to train the entire family how to eat correctly.

Without the involvement of the children in such weight loss programs, they won't work. When they eventually loose the weight and friends stop insulting them in school, they will thank you for it.

About the Author
In order to prevent childhood obesity we all need a better a understanding of nutrition and the fastest way is to educated youself on the web through free articles like this one

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