Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

7 Part Plan To Beating Childhood Obesity


Everyone from politicians to parents is talking about fighting the war against childhood flab. It is odd that in a relatively wealthy countries such as the US and Australia improving children's health, weight and fitness should be a problem but it appears to be a sticking point with many.

Childhood obesity in a developed country like Australia and the United States is essentially a lifestyle issue. Children are overweight because they eat inappropriate amounts and types of food and they don't exercise enough. To put it simply many children are stacking on the weight because calorie intake is higher than calories burned.

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 wellbeing of the next generation.

The trouble is many parents have grown accustomed to outsourcing those hard to deal with issues such as sexuality and drug education to schools and other agencies. Children' health and well-being is an issue that parents should take prime responsibility for. Parents can beat childhood obesity rather than leave it up to schools to fix or politicians to meddle with.

Here is a simple, fool-proof lifestyle plan that parents can adopt to ensure their children grow up healthy and fit rather than overweight and unhealthy:

1. Limit the amount of children's television, computer and electronic games usage to a maximum of two hours a day. Very little physical exertion is needed to watch TV or use other electronic equipment so for the sake of fitness their use of these needs to be limited. Send children outside, suggest they walk or ride to a friend's house or even suggest they have a friend or four over to play. One third of Australian children would prefer to play computer games than play outside so parents may have to be assertive and, at times, over-zealous but so be it.

2. Children walk or ride a bike to school each day. Recent Roy Morgan research revealed that 60 per cent of Australian 6 - 13 year olds would like to walk to school but only 30 per cent actually do. Most children would get their required minimum two hours of exercise a week by walking or riding their bikes to school. This may mean that parents may have to walk to school with younger children or ensure they are adequately supervised. Bike riding is not safe for every child but more bike tracks in the vicinity of schools would be a great start.

3. Keep unhealthy food out of the trolley and include more fruit. This may be stating the bleeding obvious but as keepers of the family purse parents have the main stake in what food goes in and what stays out of the shopping trolley. It seems that parents are on the right track as more Australian children eat fruit after school than sweet biscuits but even so the number of fruit eaters can do with a boost. Only 43 per cent of Australian children eat fruit after school so more fruit could be a good place to start.

4. Serve healthy meals at the table on a regular basis. The humble ritual that sees adults and children who are related to each other breaking bread together on a daily or at least regular basis has a lot going for it. Far from being a refuelling stop mealtime is an opportunity for everyone to catch up and to share good healthy, well-prepared food. True, busyness of life get in the way of this healthy ritual but it is about getting our priorities right.

5. Parents play with their children or join them in a physical activity. The family that plays together stays thin together could well be the motto of our times. It should be easy for adults to sell their children on the virtues of playing physical games outside as play comes before work in most children's dictionaries. Fathers tend to be the kings of play but work and other lifestyle factors can get in the way.

6. Encourage children to be involved in at least one organised physical activity each week. Some parents may need to be insistent but 88 per cent of Australian children say they enjoy sport so getting children motivated for physical activity shouldn't be hard. There is no shortage of options for children these days as there are activities and sports that cater of a diverse range of interests, abilities and body types.

7. Parents model a healthy lifestyle. Do as I do not as I say is the idea here. It is little use parents telling their kids to go out and play as they tuck into their second wine or they slump into the couch. Modelling is the most important tool in the armoury if we want children to develop sustained healthy eating and exercise habits. For the record, a healthy lifestyle is one where people talk to each other (ideal for emotional well-being), one where food and alcohol intake occurs in moderation and physical activity is a natural part of the day.

This plan has a great deal going for it. It is cost-free, easy to use and places the responsibility where it lay - with parents. It also has the added bonus of promoting healthy relationships as if they follow this plan parents and kids should spend more time together which can't be a bad thing.

For further ideas to help you raise happy children and resilient teenagers visit www.parentingideas.com.au . While you are there subscribe to Happy Kids newsletter and receive a free report - Seven ways to beat sibling rivalry.

Michael Grose is Australia's leading parenting educator. He is the author of six books and gives over 100 presentations a year and appears regularly on television, radio and in print.

For further ideas to help you raise happy children and resilient teenagers visit http://www.parentingideas.com.au. While you are there subscribe to Happy Kids newsletter and receive a free report Seven ways to beat sibling rivalry.


MORE RESOURCES:

CNN

Woman ditches diets, loses 160 pounds
CNN
(CNN) -- Teena Henson's "journey to life" began with a newspaper ad. She remembers wishing they had an Anytime Fitness in her hometown of Gilmer, Texas. She specifically wanted to join Anytime Fitness because it is open 24/7 and is made for men and ...



Alexis Powers: Magic weight-loss potion eludes her
Arizona Daily Star
A few years later we joined another 12-step program to lose the weight. Each weight loss success was followed by binging, depression and despair. Would this ever end? I'd read a book titled β€œThe Devil Made Me Fat.” For months I thought of writing one ...



Counsel & Heal

Weight loss plan better than usual diet for diabetes patients
Chicago Tribune (blog)
In addition, 72 percent of participants in the commercial weight loss groups who needed to inject insulin before meals at the start of the study had stopped taking their insulin or cut back on the amount they used. That compared to 8 percent in the ...
Community-Based Weight Loss Program Aids Diabetes ManagementUCSD Medical Center
Community Weight Loss Program Helps with Diabetes ManagementCounsel & Heal

all 19 news articles »


Washington Post (blog)

Top 5 USDA discoveries of 2013, including weight-loss flour
Washington Post (blog)
Weight-loss flour: A new type of flour made of chardonnay grape seeds may prevent weight gain and high cholesterol, according to the USDA. Testing showed changes in fat metabolism for hamsters that ate the product along with a high-fat diet. The Mayo ...

and more »


More than 2800 pounds lost in Healthy You weight loss program
The Times (subscription)
... sought to improve health education and weight loss. The Healthy You Program, a partnership between St. Mary's Hospital and the Streator Family YMCA, motivates participants to live an all-around healthier lifestyle with a 12-week weight loss challenge.



E! Online

Debra Messing Reveals 20-Pound Weight Loss From Eating Healthier: See the ...
E! Online
Debra Messing is living the healthy life these days! The 45-year-old actress, who's looking very lean these days, revealed this week that she dropped a good amount of weight after making some big changes to her lifestyle and eating habits. "About two ...
Debra Messing reveals secrets behind 20-pound weight lossReality TV World
Debra Messing reveals secrets behind her 20-pound weight lossUPI.com
Debra Messing flaunts 20-pound weight loss on low-carb, gluten-free dietExaminer.com
TooFab.com -TheGloss -Daily Mail
all 23 news articles »


Examiner.com

Dr. Oz dispels diet myths: Exercise is not necessary for weight loss
Examiner.com
Dr. Mehmet Oz dispelled common diet myths that could sabotage weight loss on the April 21 episode of the "Dr. Oz Show." Dr. Oz's guest was obesity expert Dr. Joel Fuhrman, who said the wrong beliefs about dieting are what make it hard for some people ...
The Dr. Oz Show Recap: Small Meals & Exercise For Weight Loss Are Diet Lies ...Nerdles

all 4 news articles »


Weight loss the right way
Albany Times Union
Dear Readers: I've been thinking about this idea for a while. I want to write a book about my personal dieting experiences entitled "It's Not a Diet, it's a Life Sentence!" Before I start, I need to work on the very last chapter of the book, the part ...



Caty Pasternak's Incredible 115-Pound Weight Loss
The Weather Channel
If you're looking to shape up for summer and learn to love your warm-weather clothes, here's some inspiration. At 16, Caty Pasternak, now 22, weighed 230 pounds. She ate what she wanted and didn't exercise without giving her body β€” or her health β€” a ...

and more »


Examiner.com

Khloe Kardashian's flaunts 30-pound weight loss: Her diet and workout secrets
Examiner.com
Khloe Kardashian is in great shape after her recent 30-pound weight loss, which her trainer, Gunnar Peterson, attributed to a portion-controlled diet and rigorous workouts. "Khloe works hard," Peterson told E! "She has been killing it in the gym. There ...
Khloe Kardashian Flaunts Curves, More Confident After Weight LossTheImproper.com
Khloe Kardashian Relying on More Than Heartbreak to Lose WeightCelebrity Health & Fitness

all 184 news articles »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.