Finding Balance

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Thank you to the CDC for providing this educational video…..

More than one third of U.S. adults are obese. Weight gain occurs when you consume more calories than your body uses. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight will help you prevent and control many diseases and conditions. The key is FINDING A BALANCE in your lifestyle that includes healthy eating and regular physical activity.

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– Courtesy of the CDC

Battling Obesity At The Local Level

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obeseboyvectoreatingFrom Your Health Journal…..”We are always looking at the national or international level when we discuss the obesity epidemic facing mankind. I was reading today a local obesity story from FOX 11 (Wisconsin) written by Chad Doran entitled Battling obesity in the Fox Valley. Mr. Doran mentions how experts say 62% of Americans are now overweight or obese, and Fox Valley is facing the same issue. As a local expert stated in the story, ‘change won’t be easy and it needs to be a family effort.’ Such great points to take notice. In the United States, many are worried about the current generation of children having a shorter life expectancy than their parents. The government is worried about healthcare costs in the future, as obesity related illnesses (asthma, cancer, heart disease, weak joint, type 2 diabetes) are on the rise. So, change is needed, and as the Fox Valley article suggests, it starts at the family level. Please visit the Fox 11 web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

Battling bulging waistlines. It’s a growing problem everywhere. Even in the Fox Valley.

Health experts say it’s now an epidemic 30 years in the making.

It’s not hard to spot, even here in the Fox Valley. Experts say 62% of Americans are now overweight or obese.

“We struggle just like the rest of the nation does,” said Dr. John Edwards, a pediatrician with Theda Care.

He says change won’t be easy and it needs to be a family effort.

“As much as possible if we can have parents on the same page, realizing that healthy eating is better for all of us. That’s going to make an important difference as well as what’s available and setting the example for kids.”

The second meeting of a Fox Valley summit on obesity is focusing on initiatives to combat the problem. The first meeting of local leaders last week identified problem areas and causes.

“The healthier our employees are the lower our healthcare costs, the lower our healthcare costs the more money we can put into city services,” said Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna.

The city of Appleton employees more than 600 full-time workers. Hanna says the city has incentive driven programs to encourage employees to be physically fit. Just one way businesses can help stem the tide of obesity.

To read the full article…..Click here

Who Are You Calling Fat?

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doctorFrom Your Health Journal…..”An interesting article from the BCC written by Dr Pallavi Bradshaw entitled Child obesity: Who are you calling fat?. Doctors do have a hard time sometimes talking to parents who feel they are being accused of poor parenting, which is why healthcare professionals may need guidance in tackling the problem, especially when parents cannot see there is one. Most parents do not want to hear their child is overweight or obese. There are a select few, who are told are happy, yet concerned, but then act on it. Personally, I am not sure of the proper method to tell a parent about a potentially unhealthy child – what I do know, each child (and parent) is different, and reacts differently to each circumstance. But, I really encourage you to visit the BBC web site (link provided below) to read the complete article. It is a well written and informative article.”

From the article…..

Child obesity can be a taboo subject.

Doctors can struggle to talk to parents who feel they are being accused of poor parenting, which is why healthcare professionals may need guidance in tackling the problem, especially when parents cannot see there is one.

From Turkey Twizzlers to MPs suggesting a correlation between a child’s weight and their social background, obesity is a hot topic and an ever-growing public health issue.

The reality can be devastating for families with children taken into care for being obese, or suffering long-term health problems.

Children unable to lose weight as they grow older may develop chronic and life-threatening diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Obesity is also a huge cost to the public purse, and experts predict that it will result in the health service paying out £6.3bn by 2015.

So how should doctors intervene?

While friends and family may be afraid to comment on a child’s physique or put the excess weight down to “puppy fat”, a doctor should not ignore tackling the issue openly with parents who may be in denial.
Poor judgement

Studies have suggested that parents’ judgement is poor regarding weight, with 75% underestimating the size of an overweight child and 50% failing to recognise that their child is obese.

More worrying is that there are similar findings for the perceptions of healthcare professionals.

Due to changes in the delivery of health services, patients will often see different GPs or practice nurses over a period of time.

This has eroded the unique relationship once had with the family doctor and can mean that GPs feel reluctant to raise sensitive issues during a one-off consultation.

To read the full article…..Click here

The Obesity Epidemic

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Thank you to the CDC for providing this excellent video…..

This video explains the many factors that have contributed to the obesity epidemic, and showcases several community initiatives taking place to prevent and reduce obesity. Obesity is a national epidemic and a major contributor to some of the leading causes of death in the U.S., including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer. We need to change our communities into places that strongly support healthy eating and active living.

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– Courtesy of the CDC

Healthy Tip #168

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Another healthy tip courtesy of Lyss Stern

healthycartTaking a personal trip to a gourmet market like Whole Foods will give you a moment to think about what you love eating, or what you might miss, rather than “what do I need to cook for dinner tonight?” or “What would the kids enjoy.

Also, a quick meditation session can cause a stressed-out brain to do a complete 180. Next time you feel a mommy-meltdown bubbling up inside you, use these steps to bring yourself back down to relaxation.

Don’t have 10 minutes to spare? Do a quick handstand. It’s a surefire way to clear your mind and feel instantly refreshed. If you do this at a particularity stressful moment in your home, you’ll feel instant peace.

– Lyss Stern, the Founder of Divalysscious Moms (www.divamoms.com), the #1 Mommy Networking & Events Group in the tri-state area. Lyss is a mother of two and based in NYC.

Elizabeth Chabner Thompson – If I Knew Then What I Know Now

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Life Lessons From Adults To Children
Today’s Guest – Elizabeth Chabner Thompson

Lesson learned: Never chew sugar sweetened gum

In medical school, I found that I could stay awake and study if I chewed Bazooka bubble gum. Worked better than coffee or anything else. When I started medical school, I did not have a single cavity. By the time I was 35, I needed 3 root canals– not fun and expensive and time consuming. I talk to my children about this and taking care of their teeth– they assume that their teeth will always be strong and white. Not so, unless you put in the care and maintenance at an early age.

Lesson — if you must chew gum, make sure that it is sugarless. We have so many options now-a days.

– Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, MD, MPH, President/CEO BFFL Co

U.S. Obesity Rates

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overweightbusmanFrom Your Health Journal…..”A very interesting article from CBS written by Ryan Jaslow entitled New survey tracks U.S. obesity rates: Where does your state stack up?. We have discussed here so many times the problem facing the United States regarding obesity. Many Americans are getting less physical activity and eating poorly, resulting in many obese citizens. Obesity related illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, weak joints, and asthma are also rising. Recently, a new Gallup poll shows Colorado has the fewest obese citizens in the country, with 18.7 percent of its population obese. On the other side of the belt loop, West Virginia reported the highest obesity rate, with 33.5 percent of its population being obese. Colorado is the only U.S. state with an adult obesity rate smaller than 20 percent, and West Virginia is the state with the highest obesity rate. This is a very interesting article, and very important to read. Mr. Jaslow did an excellent job conveying his message, and educates his audience about a critical issue in the United States. Please visit the CBS web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

The most obese state in the country has almost double the proportion of plus-sized citizens than the least obese state, according to a new survey.

The newly-released Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index shows Colorado has the fewest obese citizens in the country, with 18.7 percent of its population obese. On the other side of the belt loop, West Virginia reported the highest obesity rate, with 33.5 percent of its population being obese.

Colorado is the only U.S. state with an adult obesity rate smaller than 20 percent, the report found. The Centennial State has held the title of thinnest state for three years running, according to Gallup-Healthways.

For West Virginia, the new numbers mark the third year in a row as the state with the highest obesity rate. But according to the latest figures, the state’s obesity rate is down from 35.3 percent in last year’s survey.

Obesity rates in each state were not statistically different in 2012 when compared with findings from 2011, with the exception of four states: New Jersey, Georgia — which showed increases in obesity rates — and North Carolina and Delaware, which saw decreases.

Obesity rates continued recent regional trends and were highest in Southern and Midwestern states and lowest in Western and Northeastern states (click slideshow to the left to see where your state stacks up).

The survey found the national obesity rate held steady at 26.2 percent in 2012 — compared with 26.1 percent in 2011 — but is still higher than the 2008 U.S. obesity average of 25.5 percent.

To read the complete article…..Click here

The Obesity Solution

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boycookieFrom Your Health Journal…..”A very good article recently in the Windsor Star out of Ontario, Canada entitled Obesity: Yes, we need a solution. Not only is the United States having issues with obesity, so is their neighbor up north, Canada. This editorial reports that Ontario kids are not as healthy as they should be, suggesting adults should encourage better eating habits and more physical activity. In this region, The number of overweight or obese kids has jumped 70 per cent over the past 30 years. That’s nearly 28 per cent of all kids between the ages of two and 17. Last year, Ontario spent $4.5 billion caring for people struggling with weight problems. The article states that technology is a major culprit to this issue, as TV was not available 24/7 like it is today – added to this issue computers, Ipads, video games, and hand held devices. Change is needed to get kids healthier, and reduce obesity related illness. Please visit the Windsor Star web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

There’s no question children in Ontario aren’t as healthy as they could be. And there’s no question that we should be encouraging our kids to eat better foods and exercise more.

As the government-commissioned Healthy Kids Panel said this week, obesity is a quality-of-life issue and a problem that is straining Ontario’s already strapped health care budget.

The number of overweight or obese kids has jumped 70 per cent over the past 30 years. That’s nearly 28 per cent of all kids between the ages of two and 17. Last year, Ontario spent $4.5 billion caring for people struggling with weight problems.

“The most devastating part of this trend is that obesity will mark our DNA, changing our metabolism and genetically reprogramming future generations of children to be at greater risk of being overweight,” says the panel’s report.

Do we need to find a solution? Absolutely.

But some of the Healthy Kids Panel recommendations should be non-starters. They include banning junk food and fast food ads that are aimed at children under the age of 12, stopping the promotion and display of junk food at the checkout line and forcing restaurants to mark the calorie count in every item on the menu.

Largely what the panel is suggesting is that government intrusion trumps parental responsibility. The government should determine what constitutes a healthy food, decide where and when you can advertise and display these legal products, then impose penalties if you break the rules.

If that happens, one thing is certain: Ontarians will definitely get a much fatter and more expensive bureaucracy. Still, Health Minister Deb Matthews says she’s “committed to seriously considering every one of these recommendations.” And perhaps that’s not surprising, coming from a minister in a Liberal government that has a long record of initiating nanny-state policies.

To read the full article…..Click here

Master Joseph B. Ash – If I Knew Then What I Know Now

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Life Lessons From Adults To Children
Today’s Guest – Master Joseph B. Ash

I wish I knew back when I was in elementary/middle school the importance of nutrition and how it works back. I use to eat junk food and drink soda just like every other child. What a difference a few years makes… Little did I know the damages such foods do to your body and how long it would take to recover. It’s truly amazing how these foods are made and packaged. Makes you wonder why some are even legal to sell.

I learned my lesson as I became an elite level athlete. Performance at that level is measured in fractions of a second. So many times I was off just a bit and it cost me several opportunities to represent the US in international competition. I eventually got there but only after loosing a few years of eligibility. Needless to say, I was close to aging out and all the while I kept thinking I should have managed things better earlier.

Back in time, I would have demanded more of myself and eaten better foods regardless of what my friends were eating. There is no supplement to the body you were given, so you must take care of it to the best of your ability. Now one way to ensure I hold myself accountable is teach related topics in my classes. Not only does this provide me with some rewards, it truly improves the quality of instruction and participation amongst the students.

Master Joseph B. Ash, Owner, BAEPLEX Family Martial Arts Center, Inc., Author: Martial Arts Unlocked

Healthy Tip # 166

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Another healthy tip courtesy of Michelle Segar

Stop trying to be healthy and start fueling your daily energy

womanpushupMy research shows that while “health” is highly valued by individuals, it is not concrete or immediate enough to motivate most individuals to stick with their health resolutions. We know that most people are more motivated by immediately-experienced rewards (“increased energy”, “enhanced well-being”) than ones that will be experienced in the future (“better health”, “disease prevention”). When motivation is linked to distant or abstract goals, health behaviors are not compelling enough to trump the other daily goals and priorities with which they constantly compete. The same behaviors that lead to health can also energize our daily lives. So, consider the single most important thing you can do to have more energy every day. Is it to get an hour more of sleep on most nights? Move your body more during the day? Only choose one specific behavior to work on learning, and start to notice your energy level when you do it and when you don’t. We are much more likely to stick with our resolutions to be healthy when we notice the real and immediate ways they energize our days and help us better enjoy everything we do.

– Michelle Segar, PhD, MPH, Associate Director, Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy (SHARP), Center for Women and Girls Health Policy Fellow, Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, University of Michigan