Monday, March 25, 2013

What are the ways to fight childhood obesity?

by Mandy Stone

In New York and Los Angeles the amount of obese children keeps on increasing. Author of the recently held study Jackson Sekhobo says: “In New York City, the prevalence of obesity appeared to have peaked around 2003-2004, whereas in Los Angeles it appeared to have leveled off around 2008-2009 and started to decline in 2010-2011.” Both cities develop new plans which are aimed to help to fight obesity in children. A new government program promotes healthy behavior among kids from lo-income families. Health officials encourage children to “Eat Well Play Hard” and drink low-fat milk. The program also promotes eating more fruit and vegetables, exercising and spending less time in front of the TV.

Specialists admit that the problem of childhood obesity arises not only in New York and Los Angeles, but also in many other American cities. Health specialists are really worried about what's going on, and they hope the situation will change. Sure, changes will take time, but the result is worth it. Clinical nutrition coordinator at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Samantha Heller, says: “Ongoing education, support and approaches that target specific cultural and socioeconomic groups can have positive effects in reducing childhood obesity.” However, there are still a lot of actions to take to fight obesity among children.

An important part of the program is educating parents as well as children. Besides, there must be reduced the amount of fast-food restaurants in low-income areas. According to Samantha Heller, “Bringing the healthy lifestyle message into the schools will be helpful as well. Nutrition programs and physical activity programs in schools for children of all ages should be a required part of the curriculum, and can help turn the tide toward reducing childhood obesity.

Recent research held by the group of health specialists provided interesting results. It appeared that such social media such as Facebook can help reduce the growth of childhood obesity.

Online communications have become an important part of our life. Although, most parents consider social networks to be a waste of time, this kind of Internet entertainment can help children lose weight and - what is even more important - improve relations between kids and their moms and dads. The thing is that there are a lot of online programs which are aimed to help children lose and keep their weight.

Dr. Jennifer Li, chair of the statement writing group, says: Online communication and social media are an increasing part of our lives and our overall social network of family, friends and peers. Healthcare providers should embrace its potential as a tool for promoting healthy behavioral change. Online programs for weight maintenance require parents interaction, so many of them have a chance to become closer with their children.

About 95% per cent of teenagers have access to the Internet, so it's time to make using web browsing beneficial. Creating a network of overweight children will help to fight their obesity. Knowing that they are not alone will help obese kids to start fighting this disease.

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What are the ways to fight childhood obesity?

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