Sunday, June 28, 2009

How to Fight Childhood Obesity (Weight loss, Nutrition, and Multivitamin)

by Gerald Fitz

The United States has seen a large jump in the number of obese people over the last forty years. According to the Body Mass Index (BMI), a metric for gauging body fat, 63% of Americans are overweight. 31% of Americans are obese, and 3.8 million Americans weigh over 300 pounds. The cost for maintaining the healthcare for a large number of overweight Americans is astronomic. This is due to many diseases being connected to obesity including: diabetes, cancer, depression, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Yet, even more disturbing is the rate at which childhood obesity is rising. This dangerous trend is speeding the spread of many diseases in a lower age bracket. The number of heart attacks for people under 30 has risen significantly over the past five years. Many children now have cholesterol counts that were only seen in much older patients. This trend of childhood obesity, although starting in America, is spreading around the world. The amount of obese children could lead to a global pandemic of type 2 diabetes.

A new study has also found that the amount of fat cells in an adult body is equal to the amount of fat cells in the body when a person is eighteen years of age. This explains the problems that people, who were obese as children, have managing their weight later in life. It also shows the importance of helping children to control their weight and establish healthy lifestyles.

There are ways that parents, who have obese children, can help them. Here are some suggestions.

Be an example - Many studies have linked a connection between overweight parents passing their poor dieting practice onto their children. As a parent it is important that you set the example to your children of how to have a proper diet. This will require more work in the kitchen, and the preparation of more home cooked meals. Fast food is often a quick way to add large amounts of fats and sugars into your diet. Even if you have a busy schedule, there are many solutions and ways that people can plan out meals as a family. Not only will eating healthy meals increase the health of your child, but studies have shown that eating meals together as a family helps the child's social and behavioral development.

Don't be overbearing - Although it is a good idea to limit the amount of sugary food a child has, it isn't a good idea to cut them off cold turkey. One thing that parents often forget is that their children, although overweight, are still children. Not giving them any sugary food won't help them to make good nutritional decisions, but rather just eliminates the chance to help them learn to eat in moderation. Children can be both children and healthy. Your child doesn't live in a bubble don't feed them like they do.

Pay attention to your child's mental health - Depression and anxiety disorders are growing in children and teenagers. One of the common side effects of these symptoms is to over eat, which causes more anxiety and depression. Your child's over eating could be a sign of a more serious disorder, and solving that disorder will help solve the obesity.

Promote healthy practices - Help your children to find ways to have physical exercise. Also promote proper dental hygiene, and personal hygiene. Another good idea is to have your children take a good multivitamin. Even if you are giving them a wide variety of healthy foods in a nutritional diet, it is difficult to provide a growing child with all the nutrients they need. Helping them to form that habit of taking a good multivitamin will improve their health, and nutritional habits. Those habits will help them to control their weight, and to live better lives.

Childhood obesity is a problem that can't be ignored. Yet, people can make a large difference in this problem if they will make some simple adjustments in their daily lives. Weight loss can be a daunting task, but little steps will make a big difference in the long run.

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For more info on multivitamins, visit Top Form Nutrition

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Childhood Obesity - Statistics, Health Risks and Causes

by Fiona Applebee

What is a traditional average American family? It used to be described as a "married couple with 2.4 kids and a dog living in a house with a white picket fence. Things have changed dramatically and continue to change steadily. Technology has something to do with some of these changes and the economy has a great deal to do with the changes. Most women used to stay at home and take care of the children and the household. Now, it takes both parents working to keep the family going in most households. Children are often the ones who pay the price, and the price often comes in the form of childhood obesity.

Childhood Obesity Statistics

According to childstats.gov, a forum on child and family statistics, 17% of children aged 6 to 17 were overweight from 2005-2006 in comparison to 6% in 1976-1980.

Why is this? First, children aren't eating the meals that they need to eat and aren't getting the exercise they need. No longer is the average family the one that has a healthy, home-cooked meal prepared for the family to sit at the table and eat. It's all about eating on the go and the food that we eat when we are in a hurry can really pack on the pounds.

Health Risks of Child Obesity

How serious is child obesity? There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is considered Juvenile Diabetes which is an endocrine condition where the pancreas produces little or no insulin. It typically occurs during childhood or adolescence. Type 2, on the other hand, has always been considered Adult Onset Diabetes and usually occurs later in life. With the increase of obesity in children, there has been a sharp rise in the number of children who are developing Adult Onset Diabetes. Obesity is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes as opposed to not being obese in Type 1.

Factors that Explain the Rise in Childhood Obesity

The end of the family dinner isn't the only contributing factor to childhood obesity. Children are no longer required to walk to and from school, they don't get play time for physical activity at school, and they don't have chores that demand physical exertion. Many modern day children spend their time indoors in front of the television or playing video games. Electronics have become the live-in babysitters that give busy parents free time to take care of other responsibilities. American children simply aren't getting enough exercise.

While being entertained in front of the TV, children snack on foods that are high in sugar, fat, and calories. Their activity levels have decreased while their intake of junk foods has greatly increased. This has the potential to create children with many health problems related to lack of nutrition and over-consumption of unhealthy foods. Fruits and vegetables that are essential for growth and good health have taken a backseat to processed treats.

The average family in America is no longer the image captured in many black and white sitcoms but has instead become a decline in quality that only seems to be growing as a trend in family behavior.


About the Author
The author writes informative articles for today's modern family. She specializes in family finance and family fun topics.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Childhood Obesity - 3 Steps To A Real Solution (II)

Ladies beware. I don't mean to frighten you, and it just doesn't seem fair, but obesity is a killer. Not only does it claim over 300,000 lives per year, it also significantly increases your chances of acquiring diabetes and/or breast cancer. One day I stepped on the scale and nearly passed out when I read the numbers: 270. I shook my head in amazement and whispered to myself, "Congratulations Mr. Taylor, you are obese." For the next 18 months following that momentous day, I dedicated myself to a diet of three meals and two small snacks per day, and found a way to get some exercise at least five days out of each week. It wasn't easy, and yes, there were both good and bad days. Following the bad days I reconfirmed my desire to continue with my diet and refused to quit. In hindsight, I can see that the refusal to quit was much more vital to my success than the actual diet plan.

There are dozens, perhaps hundreds of diet plans available on the market today. You may even be working on one prescribed by your physician. In my opinion, any sensible diet that does not demand extremes in food limits, such as starvation diets, and emphasizes a well-balanced approach to reducing calorie intake and increasing calorie consumption (via exercise) is workable. If you have a specific medical condition, such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes, than of course you need to be working under a doctor's diet, specifically designed for you and your condition.

The important thing, I believe, is for you to find a diet you are comfortable with, and that you can sustain as a way of life. Jumping from one diet to the next may be good for the booksellers and packaged food diet plans, but it is rarely effective in helping you to actually lose weight.

Here is the skinny on my weight loss, which you may or may not like to hear. Short of a specific medical condition, as I mentioned earlier, weight loss is a function of expending more calories than you consume. You can do this in any one of three ways:

1. Increase the amount of calories your body burns through regular exercise.

2. Decrease the amount of calories you eat.

3. Attack weight loss by both eating less and exercising more.

Every thing else you read or hear about dieting is a variation or elaboration of these three key points.

Additionally, I learned that successful dieters are patient dieters. It took ten years of binge eating and neglect for me to accumulate over 90 pounds in excess weight. But when I started my diet, I wanted the fat off immediately-that Thursday would have been fine. Sadly, it didn't happen as I planned. It took 18 months of consistent, deliberate work. On a positive note, however, I felt the difference in my energy level and self-esteem within one week of diligently adhering to my diet. And as you will learn, it's these small rewards of confidence and new energy that you will begin to feed on as you adapt to a new lifestyle.

There was no magical pill, ointment, food product, or ingenious piece of home exercise equipment that helped me along. In fact, I would still like my $39 back for that abdominal workout gizmo that tightened my love handles, but did not help me to lose a single pound. Make patience the first ingredient in your successful diet recipe book, and forget the gimmicks.

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