Friday, May 21, 2010

Avoid These Common Mistakes with Obese Children

by Marlin Rollins

Most parents just feel helpless. They want the best for their kids, but in spite of everything we know about nutrition and exercise, most parents hope for the best and do little about their overweight kids.

My daughter Pari was small at birth, but quickly became a heavy baby. By the age of two, our pediatrician began intimating that Pari was putting on more weight than she needed. Until kindergarten, kids from our neighborhood, her day care or nursery school accepted Pari just as she was, and her size never came up. But when she started school, there was a whole new set of kids, and some would make comments about Pari's size.

Some were innocent observations; some comments were just down right mean. In first grade she was invited to a slumber party of a new friend, and told me she would be uncomfortable changing in front of the other girls because she was fat. This was a shocking moment for me, because now I understood that she felt badly about herself, that she had been giving thought to her size, and comparing herself to other children. What could I do? In my case, there were few resources, but that has changed.

As the author of Seven Steps to Get Your Child's Weight on Track and creator of The Pari Plan, it's clear to me that parents don't understand the pivotal role they play in the solution to a child's weight problem. In helping families across the country beat childhood obesity, I've identified the three crucial mistakes that parents make and the key actions parents must take to get control and start their child on the path to improvement:

Mistake #1: "She's Not Heavy." This is plain denial. Many parents refuse to be honest with themselves about their child's weight. They see the beautiful perfection of their child and turn a blind eye to a problem that is likely causing emotional pain in their child's life lowering the child's self-esteem and getting in the way of their child achieving her true potential.

Action Plan: Learn what a healthy weight for your child should be. Compare where your child is to where your child needs to be. Acknowledge this goal openly.

Mistake #2: "He'll grow out of it." If only parents knew: Studies show that 50% of obese school-aged children will become obese adults. Children WON'T grow out of their weight problem.

Action Plan: You don't need to put your child on a crash diet, but you do need to get them on a healthy path with better food choices and exercise activities that will help them as they grow. Losing weight is not rocket science. But changing the habits and lifestyle of a family in today's busy world is difficult. Especially when the emotional well being of a fragile overweight child is at stake, parents need a plan and they need perseverance.

The good news is that the easiest time to get your child on track is between the ages of 4-12 when they are growing and still totally reliant upon their parents for their food and activity.

Mistake #3: "I've Tried Everything." Most parents simply give up. They may try something but usually not the right things - in the right way. Then they give up.

Action Plan: The secret is that you must put it all together in the correct way and you must commit to being successful. You must acknowledge that you are the only one that can make the difference and you must rally your entire family around your child's success. You can have a healthy child but only if you decide to make it the number one priority in your life.

As a mother of an overweight child, I made all these mistakes and more. I've experienced the helplessness and heartbreak a parent feels watching their child struggle with weight. But there is an important flipside to that pain: The joy of helping your child shed their weight, build their self-esteem and realize the potential you always knew they had.

About the Author
Learn about begonia flowers, strawberry begonia, pruning begonias, begonia care, tuberous begonia , begonia flower and other information at the Gardening Central site.

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Reversing the Trend of Childhood Obesity

by Jenna Gray

First Lady Michelle Obama is leading a national effort to end the childhood obesity epidemic. This is a growing health concern because if current trends continue, this will be the first generation of children who will not be expected to out live their parents.

Parents are urged to help their children learn healthy eating habits and encourage them to stay physically active starting at an early age. If not, they will be at risk for numerous health problems later in life. The excess weight is taxing on their bodies. It gradually damages their bones, joints, lungs, heart, and puts them at risk for diabetes. This can be very damaging for their psychological well being too.

The number of children who are overweight or obese is growing at an alarming rate. The latest figures suggest that as many as one third of youngsters and teens are carrying excess weight. Nearly one quarter of children ages 6 to 11 are overweight, and nearly 20 percent of teens are dealing with obesity.

According to experts, this trend is much easier to reverse if children are taught healthy habits at an early age. By the time they are adults, it is often too late. This is why parents and school administrators are encouraged to help children maintain diets consisting of healthy foods. Teaching them about portion control is also important.

Some people may be concerned that it is not realistic to expect children to give up fast foods and candy. But Mrs. Obama stresses that this effort is not about completely eliminating pizza and burgers from the diets of children and teens. It's about balance. As long as they are eating healthy most of the time, then an occasional meal of burgers and fries will be okay.

One way to get children really interested in eating healthy is to set a good example. Children develop their eating habits by watching their parents. Involve them in the preparation of healthy snacks. Take them grocery shopping. Let them help decide which healthy foods should be included in meals. Find ways to make the foods tasty and visually appealing.

Parents should also watch their own weight, especially mothers. Research suggests that women should lose weight before becoming pregnant. Otherwise they risk passing on their weight problems to their unborn child.

About the Author
Jenna Gray is a writer who does extensive research on health related issues. Click on the link to read about mothers can avoid passing problems with obesity to their children.

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Obese Children are Often More Obese Adults

by Debbie Parkinson

It has been long thought that there is a direct relationship between childhood obesity and one's tendency to carry that obesity into adulthood. Not only are one's eating habits and proclivities established at a young age, but certain physiological changes are established during childhood as well. Both habits and physiological tend to follow a person from childhood into the adult years.

William Dietz, Jr., MD, PhD, Director, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity recently testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Health and Committee on Energy and Commerce. In his testimony he quoted John F. Kennedy as saying "Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future." He went on to further testify on the "tragedy of millions of children lacking . . . proper nutrition". Further he laments the fact that today, improper nutrition, together with a lack of physical activity and extended time spent in front of the television, are fundamental factors for the roughly 12.5 million cases of childhood obesity in the U.S.

He has concluded that three crucial stages can be identified relating to the development of obesity. These three stages are pre-adulthood and span the years preceding. These stages are defined as the prenatal period, childhood between the ages of 5 and 7, and adolescence.

The prenatal stage: Even though additional study is necessary to thoroughly comprehend the relationship involving nutrition throughout gestation and birth weight to the beginning of obesity down the road in life, a number of studies indicate a relationship. For instance, studies have shown that a larger occurrence of adult obesity is present in babies born to diabetic moms who have a tendency to put on an above-average amount of weight throughout pregnancy and have bigger babies. An additional piece of research indicates that babies who are undernourished throughout the first two trimesters in uteri experience an elevated risk of obesity as they get older.

Childhood (ages 5 thru 7): In typical development throughout the initial 12 months of life, an infant's body weight, particularly the amount of fat or adipose tissue, is greater in ratio to the baby's height. Progressively, the weight-to-height ratio diminishes. Subsequently, between 5 thru 7 years of age, children naturally build up their fat stores. Health professionals refer to this phase as adiposity rebound. Several longitudinal studies indicate that children having their adiposity rebound occurring earlier, before the age of 5 1/2 for instance, tend to be fatter and heavier as adolescents and adults. The theory holds that children who experience their adipose rebound earlier than normal grow fatter for an extended period of time.

Adolescence (ages 10 to 13): Further research indicates that upwards of 80 percent of kids who are defined as obese throughout adolescence continue to be obese as adults. Unfortunately girls have an increased risk than boys for becoming and remaining overweight. For that matter, several research trials indicate that upwards of 30 percent of all overweight adult women were overweight as adolescents.

About the Author
Debbie Parkinson is a free lance author reporting on many different topics appealing to a diverse audience. Debbie's articles include themes on health, self-improvement, and enjoyment of the outdoors. Learn about healthy meals outdoors on the Weber Charcoal Grill and in particular the Weber Performer Charcoal Grill.

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