New Study Shows Combatting Childhood Obesity In Schools Is Working

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

obesityResearch Finds the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program Reduces Prevalence of Childhood Obesity.

According to a recently published study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal, Preventing Chronic Disease, schools can win the fight against childhood obesity. The study found that the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program is an important means of supporting schools in reducing students’ rates of obesity.

Effect of the Healthy Schools Program on Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in California Schools, 2006 – 2012, is the first peer-reviewed journal article published about the Healthy Schools Program’s impact on child obesity rates.

An analysis of 281 schools in California that participated in the Program from 2006-2012 concludes that the Program is “an effective model for addressing childhood obesity among engaged schools,” and that meaningful participation in the Program is linked to reductions in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among students in high-need schools.

Ten years ago, the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association founded the Alliance for a Healthier Generation with the goal of reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity, and this study confirms the organization is delivering on its mission and that healthy school environments are having an effect on student weight.

“It’s encouraging to see the proven positive impact of the Healthy Schools Program on childhood obesity. Over the past ten years, the Alliance involved all stakeholders ‒ schools, companies, communities, healthcare professionals and families. The combination of commitment and cooperation has made the difference,” said President Bill Clinton.

kidsexercisevector“This study is evidence of our 2005 dream realized. While we know we have much more work to do to reverse the tide of obesity, we’re showing signs of success through the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association.

The Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program, which was launched in 2006 with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides schools with a framework, assessment and action plan, as well as virtual and onsite training and technical assistance and access to national experts to help them create sustainable healthy change. While the study looked at schools in California, the Program serves more than 29,000 schools nationally, the majority of which are high-need ‒ 40% or more of a school’s students receive free or reduced price lunch.

The study demonstrates the power of providing high-quality training and technical assistance to help schools make policy and system changes that improve children’s access to healthy foods and physical activity. The more that schools engaged with the Healthy Schools Program, and the longer they engaged, the greater reductions they saw in student rates of obesity. For example, for each additional year of exposure to an Alliance national advisor, schools saw a nearly 2% decline in student rates of overweight and obesity.

“Healthy school environments are critical to ensuring that every child grows up at a healthy weight and to RWJF’s goal of building a nationwide Culture of Health,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “This study reinforces the critical role that the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program can play in making a healthy school the norm and not the exception in the United States. We are proud of our commitment to initiate and expand the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program over the past decade, and we look forward to continued progress in our joint efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.”

“We’re pleased the findings confirm that the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program is delivering on our mission: to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity,” said Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “Reaching more than 17 million students across the country and growing, we will continue to positively impact children’s health on a national scale.”

About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation empowers kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. Through our Healthy Schools Program, we help to build healthier school environments for more than 17 million students by improving physical education, health education, child nutrition, and staff wellness policies and programs in more than 29,000 schools. Learn more and join the movement at

About the Clinton Foundation
The Clinton Foundation convenes businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for women and girls, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change. Because of our work, more than 29,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; more than 85,000 farmers in Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania are benefiting from climate-smart agronomic training, higher yields, and increased market access; more than 33,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced annually across the United States; over 350,000 people have been impacted through market opportunities created by social enterprises in Latin America, the Caribbean, and South Asia; through the independent Clinton Health Access Initiative, 9.9 million people in more than 70 countries have access to CHAI-negotiated prices for HIV/AIDS medications; 75 million people are benefiting from disease prevention efforts and investments in the U.S.; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative community have made more than 3,200 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries. Learn more at, on Facebook at and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association (AHA) is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke—America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. The American Heart Association team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of the offices around the country.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. The Foundation strives to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Love, Compassion, And Childhood Obesity

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By Jay Helliwell

The Statistics, Problem, and Truth of Obesity in Children.

active family“Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years,” writes “In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.”
According to the Letsmove movement, an organization dedicated to raising a healthier generation of kids in America, children who are obese are at the whim of illnesses that target blood pressure, the cardiovascular system, the pancreas, and even their ability to sleep.

“Obese children and teens have been found to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), including high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and abnormal glucose tolerance,” they write. “In addition to suffering from poor physical health, overweight and obese children can often be targets of early social discrimination… there have been some studies showing that obese children are not learning as well as those who are not obese.”

It’s obvious: obesity in children and adolescents has not just become another health issue we need to be worried about, it’s become an epidemic of its very own. Millions of children around the world suffer with poor physical health and treatment that results in obesity. Obesity, in turn, results in lack of motivation, less achievement, and lower self-esteem. Young kids with low self-esteem and no motivation aren’t propelled to succeed in life, and these leaders of tomorrow seldom seek and discover the help and guidance they need.

What do you do if your child or one close to you is obese? The very first step in the process is to let them know that you’ll be there for them and supportive. “Children’s feelings about themselves often are based on their parents’ feelings about them,” states an article written on WebMD. “If you accept your children at any weight, they will be more likely to feel good about themselves.” Separation and discrimination are most certainly not the ways to go about reconciling your child about their weight; make sure that they always feel loved, welcomed, and secure when they’re around you, but it’s simultaneously important to let them know they need to begin to take certain steps to become healthier.

Another tip is to gradually increase physical activity and healthier eating habits within the entire family, so that the obese child feels as if everyone else in the family is being involved, too. Family involvement can be a massive esteem-boost and prevents the obese child from “feeling singled-out.” Lead by example, involve everyone in your activities, and always be sensitive to the child’s needs. Insensitivity and lack of initiative are exactly what you want to avoid.

obesityA second measure you can take to conquer child obesity and help ensure your child is getting the treatment he or she needs is to start a medical crowdfund. Plumfund, a website that gives you the tools to start local crowdfund campaigns for fundraising, health needs, and medical bills, is just one of the many options available to you. Oftentimes, when your own funds can’t always cover expenses, it’s a good idea to reach out to family and friends for a helping hand. Plumfund is free of charge, created by real people, for real people; and posts some of their successful campaigns on their home page.

Plumfund also illustrates a quote by Dalai Lama on their home page: “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” No matter how tall, small, thin, or obese a child is, he or she never deserves anything less than to feel like they matter and have a voice in the world; something that these two feelings always provide.

– Submitted by guest author, Jay Helliwell.

How Exercise Can Prevent Childhood Obesity

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

jumpingsacsIn the past 30 years, the number of adolescents (14-18 years old) with childhood obesity has doubled and the number of children (up to age 13) with childhood obesity has tripled. Childhood obesity increases the risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis as an adult.

There are many causes of the sedentary lifestyle that now challenges the youth of today. These causes include physical education no longer present in school, the increased use of electronics including video games, computers, cell phones, etc., TV watching, not walking/biking to school, not eating enough fruits and vegetables, and eating foods high in sugar and fat.

The main goal of developing an exercise program and healthy eating habits in childhood is to help kids gain an appreciation for the value of taking care of oneself as well as living a healthy lifestyle that will last into adulthood.

Tips for creating a fitness program for children/adolescents

* The exercise goals for a kids’ fitness program are different than those for adults. In order for a child/adolescent to stick with an exercise program, it is important to make the exercise fun and positive. Additionally, kids are interested in making friends and learning skills. If kids experience success and gain confidence in their physical abilities, then they will feel good about themselves.

* Kids mature at different rates, they are still growing, and many children/adolescents are doing physical activities for the first time; all which should be considered when planning a fitness program.

* Play is a very important part of fitness for kids. Without play, a kid will likely quit the physical activity. Furthermore, variety is important to ensure adhering to an exercise program. Children/adolescents will get bored of a repetitive routine and should be exposed to a wide variety of sports and activities.

* 60 minutes per day of exercise is ideal for kids. This 60 minutes should be broken up throughout the day and can include recess, sports, walking/biking to and from school, recreational activities, chores, and playing on the playground. For a very inactive child/adolescent, increase activity 10% per week to reach a goal of 60 minutes per day.

* It is important to incorporate games that include fundamental movements such as skipping, hopping, throwing, kicking etc. in order to create a base of movement for other sports and activities. These skills also ensure that a child/adolescent is moving his/her body safely and reduces embarrassment or failure in the future if they are unable to perform basic movements.

* A fitness program for children/adolescents should incorporate a warm up and cool down, aerobics, strength training, and stretching. Cardiovascular exercise (with breaks) should be made up of skipping, jumping, etc. and using balls, hoops etc. Muscular strength and endurance exercises are now considered safe and effective for kids who are emotionally mature enough and can improve body composition, but should not be performed two days in a row.

waterbottle* It is important for kids to stay hydrated while exercising. Aim to drink water every 15-20 minutes during physical activity.

There is a lot that can be done to make a big difference in preventing childhood obesity and future health problems. We have already seen that gym memberships have increased over 50% for kids who are 6-17 years old. Not only is exercise and fitness beneficial in preventing and treating childhood obesity, but it also lowers body fat, strengthens bones, builds muscle, improves physical/sports performance, improves well-being and self esteem, and enhances academic performance!

I will see you at your next workout!

Aaron Wright
Look Younger. Feel Stronger. Live Longer.

Aaron Wright, CSCS, AHFS, CPT, creator of the Wright Now Fitness System, a comprehensive DVD and digital exercise system “for everyone”, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, an ACE advanced health and fitness specialist, ACE certified personal trainer, orthopedic exercise specialist, functional training specialist, sports conditioning specialist, therapeutic exercise specialist, exercise programming expert, and health and wellness speaker.

Please visit us at for more information on our DVD and digital download/instant streaming workouts and more tips and advice on the benefits of diet and exercise to prevent childhood obesity.

NOTE: Always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any exercise program.


1. Faigenbaum, Avery D. (2012). Youth In Ace Advanced Health & Fitness Specialist Manual (pp. 552-572) United States of America: American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Videos Provide Helpful Information About Childhood Obesity

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

obesityLearn about childhood obesity causes, trends and prevention from Mercy Health expert. Mercy Health published a video last week about childhood obesity.

Mercy Health (formerly Catholic Health Partners) – a Catholic healthcare ministry serving Ohio and Kentucky – has devoted the sixth of its monthly Mercy Health: Helping You Be Well videos to childhood obesity issues. Experts say one in three youngsters is overweight or obese.

In a concise video on Mercy Health’s YouTube channel, a Mercy Health expert addresses these childhood obesity-related questions:

* Why is childhood obesity worse now than when we were kids?

* How can we get kids to eat better?

* Should I cut out sweets altogether?

* Won’t most kids just outgrow it?

* What can we do as parents to prevent childhood obesity?

An infographic with childhood obesity facts is available at Mercy Health is also sharing helpful information throughout the month on its social media channels.

Mercy Health: Helping You Be Well, which spotlights key health issues and tips for healthy living, debuted in December. The videos feature Mercy Health physician experts who are committed to making lives better – mind, body and spirit.

About Mercy Health

Mercy Health (formerly Catholic Health Partners) is the largest health system in Ohio and one of the largest health systems in the United States, employing more than 32,000 employees in Ohio and Kentucky. With $6 billion in assets, Mercy Health operates about 450 health facilities, including 23 hospitals, eight senior living communities, five hospice programs and seven home health agencies. Truven Health Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters) consistently rates Mercy Health among the nation’s top health systems for clinical quality and efficiency. In keeping with its mission, Mercy Health providesabout $1 million per day in community benefit services. Mercy Health’s bonds are rated AA- by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, and A1 by Moody’s. Mercy Health also partners with HealthSpan which provides health maintenance organization and insurance coverage. Mercy Health is a founding member of Health Innovations Ohio, which focuses on providing health services that result in higher quality, better health and greater value. For more information, visit or connect with Mercy Health on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter (@LivingMercyHlth).

YMCA’s National Role In Combatting Childhood Obesity

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– Submitted by the YMCA of the USA

twokidsunAs highlighted by the Afterschool Alliance’s recent report, the number of children participating in afterschool programs continues to grow. So, too, does the need to ensure that afterschool programs are fostering opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity.

With the ever-growing childhood obesity epidemic — there’s a national movement underway to encourage a healthier lifestyle in children outside of school hours – and the YMCA has taken on a pivotal role in this space – even influencing some of the first legislation enacted around issue.

It is through the Y’s Healthier Communities Initiatives program where the Y is able to create such change working in collaboration with other community leaders to ensure that healthy living is within reach to the kids in those communities.

The Y has been instrumental in influencing:

· The first legislation of its kind: The California State Senate passed legislation creating a voluntary recognition program for afterschool programs implementing healthy eating and physical activity standards that were initially created and implemented by the HOST coalition, of which YMCA of the USA was a founding partner.

· 15,698 positive transformations in early childhood and afterschool programs across the country

· 470 changes in early childhood or afterschool programs to ensure food and beverages offered are healthy

· 410 changes in schools to ensure that food and beverages sold to children before, during and after the school day are healthier

· 373 changes in schools that have helped incorporate physical activity before, during and after school hours

· 101 schools to expand participation in the USDA free or reduced breakfast or afterschool snack program

kidseatinghealthyThese changes are rooted in the Y’s incorporation of a set of Healthy Eating and Physical Activity standards into all Y childcare and afterschool programs which:

· Establish a minimum of expected physical activity for children of different ages enrolled in Y programs;

· Define food and beverages offerings, including designating water as the primary beverage during snack times and offering fruits and vegetables as snack options;

· Limit the amount of screen time (watching TV, playing video games, using computers);

· Encourage breastfeeding of infants in Y care; and

· Commit Ys to conducting parent education to encourage healthy behaviors at home.

The standards are based in part on years of research supported by collaborations with the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), University of Massachusetts at Boston, the Healthy Out of School Time Coalition (HOST) and the National Institute for Out of School Time (NIOST). Through these collaborations, the Y has learned the most effective ways to create healthy environments in out-of-school time settings – and has been influential in encouraging healthy lifestyles in children across the country.

Can Pilates Play A Role In Combating Childhood Obesity?

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By Katy Reeve

boytouchingtoesAny physical activity reduces the risk of childhood obesity but there is a special reason why Pilates is considered for the job. All parents will agree that a child of 2013 is not as active as a child of 90’s. It seems hugging the couch for extended periods has its price! Let’s admit it, technology plus the lack of healthy diet is turning our kids into couch potatoes. Thankfully some schools have realized the implications of childhood obesity and they are introducing healthy activities like Pilates exercises to motivate more children.

The idea is to reverse the effects of childhood disorders that are on the rise. To be honest, obesity is not the only concern. It’s even more frightening to know about the secondary disorders that arise due to obesity. Pilates can be a healthy diversion when a child suffers from anxiety symptoms, attention deficit and hyperactivity. Since a modern child is getting lonelier and self-absorbed, a group Pilates session will be a nice opportunity to socialize and make friends.

Why Pilates

For one, Pilates do not emphasize on the spirit of competition. While most kids will love to compete, the comparatively inactive ones would feel left-out. Moreover, Pilates focuses on balance, flexibility and core strength – things that are missing in today’s over-burdened and stressed out kids. In other words, Pilates will serve as an antidote for over-weight kids as well as those who are prone to obesity.

Pilates sets the beginning for other physical activities. A child who is well-versed in basic Pilates will be motivated towards other sports later on. However they should not be compelled to pursue sports as a career. Pilates or any other sport can set the trend of a fitter lifestyle in later years during, and after child growth. An active child is less prone to getting over-weight This way Pilates will play a major role in combating obesity.

Kids Friendly Pilates

happychildrenPilates is associated with mind and body health and if kids practice Pilates exercises regularly, they can develop into healthy and strong adults. Kids Friendly Pilates exercises are low intensity exercises that focus on eliminating obesity-related issues like shallow breathing, bad posture and muscle tightness. If your child remains slouched at his computer for hours, he is likely to develop a hunched back which may persist forever. Simple Pilates poses and exercises inspire children to be more agile and straighter rather than slumpy or inactive.

Nicole Kantas, a Pilates instructor, pointed out, “The metabolic rate of an active child is higher and this reduces unhealthy fat deposition”. She further states that Pilates burns more calories from the mid-section or the core. As a result, the child gets toned muscles. Since Pilates is not similar to gut-crunching Cardio, it’s a safer way to reduce or eliminate childhood obesity.

– Katy is a blogger and a strong fitness advocate. She believes fitness and beauty goes beyond losing a few pounds of weight or applying creams to look picture-perfect. It’s more about internal care, core strength, body sculpting and feeling good inside out.

Fighting Childhood Obesity

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By John Redfern

obesegirlvectorexerciseIn the past 20 years, worldwide figures for obesity have doubled and it has become one of the world’s leading killers, causing, as it does, serious health problems, as people grow older.

For the first time ever, in 2010, more people in the world were recorded as having died from obesity as opposed to starvation.

The more worrying figures related to young people and children. Health experts estimated that nearly 45 million children under the age of five years old were dangerously overweight. To be more accurate the report stated that approximately one-fifth of teens and a quarter of children between 6 and 11 years old were clinically obese. Compare the figure of 25% with one of 7% in 1980 and you can see the scale of the problem. These are worrying figures and seem to be getting worse. So why is it happening?

The figures for the US are equally damning according to Scientific American Magazine. In the three decades since 1980, adolescent obesity has tripled and over one-third of young children and teens are deemed as being obese. This places them as high risk candidates for Type 2 Diabetes, some cardiovascular problems, sleep apnea and bone or joint problems.

The conclusions seemed easy to reach and appeared to relate to the simplistic principle of more calories in than calories out. However it was evident that the levels of physical activity that normally burned them off had stayed pretty constant, and that children were exercising just as much as ever. There are still many opportunities for sporting activity as an individual or as a team player – and perhaps even more than ever before.

It seemed that the main problem seemed to be the poor food choices being made compared to earlier generations. Some reports have particularly highlighted a deficiency in key nutrients as a part of youth diet, despite all the constant advice that is given in this area. Soft drinks in plenty that are easily available, along with multiple fast food outlets must be playing their role in this worrying problem.

obeseboyvectorbellyIt has been clearly determined too, that sleep – or the lack of it – plays an important role. It’s easy to be distracted in this digital age with late night viewing and televisions in most children’s bedrooms. Add to this computer access, game playing, mobile phones with 24/7 access to the internet, phone messaging, and social media – and the undeniable temptation to carry this on late into the night when sleep should be the order of the day – or in this case – the night.

The effects of poor sleep and its effect on all are well researched – and our youth and children are no exception.

The problems relate not only to a decline in health, but also learning skills. Tired children do not make willing, able students and several leading US Universities have produced strong evidence that children’s cognitive functioning is severely affected by conditions such as obesity and various types of sleep disorder. As well as all the health implications it was also seen that poor sleep patterns led to major behavioral problems in the young.

Further detailed studies are currently under way to examine more closely the link between cognitive skills, obesity, and sleep disorders so that new effective treatment programs can be developed in order to arrest the growing severity of the problem.

In essence, less physical activity does not seem to be the problem. However there is a long list of contributory factors that includes the widespread availability of fast food, changes in technology, fewer home-cooked meals, much more low-cost processed foods and increasing sugary drinks served in large sizes as well as the easy access to unhealthy snacks.

The term ‘Supersize Me’ has taken on a real and worrying meaning.

– John Redfern worked for 15 years at leading London Advertising agencies writing on many international products and markets, before moving into a consultancy role, where he has gained long experience of writing on important matters of personal health. John has had in-depth involvement in a broad spectrum of subjects in this area, covering all possible age groups. Through his work as a consultant to SleepPro, John has acquired an in-depth knowledge of snoring and sleep apnoea, and the many serious health problems with which they are so closely associated. In addition, he has spent time developing projects for the NHS, some major educational groups and authorities, and various voluntary organizations and manufacturers whose aim is to focus on family health, fitness and well-being.

5 Amazing Tips To Fight Childhood Obesity

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By Diana Maria

obeseboyvectorbellyObesity has become the single biggest epidemic that the human civilization has had to face of late. The sad fact about obesity remains that an increasing number of its new victims are kids who become obese at a young age and end up developing various life threatening ailments even before they have reached adulthood. However, fighting childhood obesity isn’t that hard and with a little hard work and determination, you too can help you child fight off and ward off childhood obesity for good.

1. See if your child is suffering from a lack of energy

More often than not, kids suffering from a lack of energy and ones with bad sleeping patterns end up getting obese. Since they feel low on energy through the day, they end up reaching for sugary and high fat/calorie foods to get them through the day. Soon, these eating patterns become a part of their lifestyle and become uncontrollable.

If your child has become obese or looks like those extra pounds could easily get him over the obesity line, check to see if your child is suffering from low energy through the day. If the lack of energy is a result of poor sleep patterns, day time naps can be used to ensure that the child isn’t using food to negate the effects of little sleep. Excessive appetite may also be a symptom of metabolic disorders, worms, psychological problems, hormonal fluctuations and even diabetes so you should have your kid tested for these problems if their weight is getting out of control.

2. Improve family menus on the whole

Whether you are eating out, ordering in or cooking at home, if a child has access to junk food or foods that can cause obesity, then they probably will end up on the wrong side of the ideal weight. You cannot expect a child to follow a diet while the rest of the family is eating tempting, fatty foods all day long. If one of your kids is suffering from obesity, their pattern of eating could soon influence your other kids too and soon you’d have a houseful of kids struggling to fight obesity.

A great way to banish obesity is improving family menu on the whole starting with what you cook and serve at home. Then you can move onto watching what kind of foods your family eats when they are out in public and what kind of food you order in. stash your fridge with healthier snack choices like pre-cut veggies and healthy dips and keep healthy snacks like baked potato chips, baked kale chips, roasted chicken wings etc. Using spice mixes also helps draw kids to healthy snacks as they probably won’t find bland snacks too attractive and will be tempted to indulge in junk food.

familyvector3. Plan family time and weekends around physical activities

You won’t get any result by forcing your obese kid to be more active while the rest of your family gets to laze around. To help a kid fight obesity, the entire family needs to come together and become more physically active. From playing games in the backyard every evening during the weekdays to indulging in physical activities through the day on weekends, getting the whole family moving is more likely to help ward off obesity risk for one of your kids.

4. Use video games to get your kid moving

Kids today are more likely to spend time in front of the computer or sitting on the couch playing video games. Munching on treats through the day with little or no activity gets your child closer to obesity. However, video games with motion sensing controllers and accessories and titles that ask them to move around to advance and win levels can be a great way to get your child moving while he enjoys playing video games!

5. Activity boosting commute options

Dropping the kids to school, to their friends’ homes, to the mall and to the playground in the family car might be the safer option but it also limits the activity that they could have gotten had they used a bicycle, skateboard, scooter or inline skates to get there. If your child isn’t old enough to commute on their own, you can accompany them on your own bicycle or even get a neighborhood “bike-pool” together where other parents can join in with their own kids and bicycles o skateboards.

– – Diana is a writer/blogger. She loves writing, traveling and reading books. She contributes on College Works Painting.

Reducing Childhood Obesity By 20%

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boyjumpingropeFrom Your Health Journal…..”I read an interesting article I wanted to promote written by Carol Mulligan of Sudbury Star entitled Reducing Childhood Obesity By 20%. In a Canadian suburb called Sudbury – politicians, groups, and individuals are being asked to work together to reduce childhood obesity by 20% in the next five years. Looking at the feedback from the article already, not much sympathy as one individual did not want to see limited tax money being used on this, while another said simply allow your kids to go outside to play more! But, it is not always that simple. Childhood obesity is on the rise all over the world as well as illness associated it such as cancer, heart disease, asthma, weak joints, and type 2 diabetes. Change is needed, as well as education of both parent and child. Please visit the Sudbury Star web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

The Sudbury and District Health Unit has given itself a B on a report card rating its performance in three key areas to reduce the number of overweight and obese children.

The health unit’s medical officer of health, Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, was a member of the Healthy Kids Panel, which released a report in March called “No Time to Wait,” with 23 recommendations to tackle childhood obesity.

The unit gave itself an A for creating healthy communities, a B for offering programs and services to start children on the path to health and a C+ when it comes to changing the food environment.

While the report was commissioned by government, the panel doesn’t intend to wait for the province to act to address childhood obesity.

The health unit presented its report card Thursday to the Sudbury and District Board of Health, and sought its support to get working on the challenge.

The board passed a motion asking for the SDHU to be named one of 10 pilot communities in which a program will be tested to reduce childhood obesity.

Sudbury has higher than average rates of childhood obesity, with about 29% of children aged 12-17 overweight or obese versus the provincial 21%.

Obesity rates are higher among boys than girls, and among aboriginal children.

The health unit will aim to reverse the trajectory of obesity rates steadily increasing over 30 years. That could be because we are eating calories equivalent to an extra meal a day, registered dietitian Leslie Andrade told the board.

Obesity affects children’s mental, physical and emotional health, said Andrade, and requires urgent and immediate reaction.

The Healthy Kids Panel identified a three-pronged approach and it was those measures against which the SDHU measured itself.

The SDHU has adopted a balanced approach philosophy it aims to integrate into its healthy weights, healthy eating and active living programs.

That philosophy acknowledges the importance of eating well, being active and having positive self-esteem, said Andrade.

“If someone has a low self-esteem, the evidence does show they’re more likely to be dissatisfied with their bodies and more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviours that can lead to overweight and obesity,” said Andrade.

To read the complete article…..Click here

Childhood Obesity Hits Home

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obesegirlvectorexerciseFrom Your Health Journal…..”I wanted to promote an excellent article I found from the LA Times written by Mary McNamara, who does such a great job with this article – – I had to share it. As you know, childhood obesity is on the rise, as 1 in 3 children are now considered overweight in the United States. Along with this, obesity related diseases are also on the rise, which include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, weak joints, cancer, and asthma. Change is needed, and educating families on healthy lifestyle is important. The author of this article (who states she was overweight as a child) states a deluge of cheap junk food, the ubiquity of high fructose corn syrup and other sugars, the absence of physical education in schools, outrageous marketing aimed at children, cost-cutting in school cafeterias — all make it far too easy for children to eat themselves sick. Well said. PLEASE visit the LA Times web site (link provided below) to read the FULL article. Ms. McNamara does such an excellent job educating her readers on this obesity epidemic facing our youth. Support her work!”

From the article…..

Take it from someone who knows: The struggle with childhood obesity, illustrated vividly on television, is a battle of both the mind and the mouth for an overweight kid.

I was a pioneer of childhood obesity.

By the time I was a junior in high school, I weighed more than 200 pounds. I was a fat kid before being a fat kid made you the topic of a national conversation and the first lady’s pet project, back when Gatorade still tasted gross and no one knew how many calories there were in anything.

For most of my childhood, I was the only fat girl in my class — I can still name the other two fat girls in my grade. Now, fat kids fill the playground and the high school bleachers, including a whole new breed of fat girl who wears skin tight jeans and mid-riffs and dares anyone to say anything. Seeing them, I must admit I am torn between despair and envy.

I never expected to see my childhood reflected on television — overweight young characters are still rare even post-“Hairspray” — but there they are, my modern equivalents, on “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution,” “Too Fat for 15 and Fighting Back” and, most recently, HBO’s multi-pronged documentary “The Weight of the Nation,” all part of a collective attempt to address America’s childhood obesity epidemic.

According to these shows, and many reports in other media, the root system of this crisis is insidious and widespread. A deluge of cheap junk food, the ubiquity of high fructose corn syrup and other sugars, the absence of physical education in schools, outrageous marketing aimed at children, cost-cutting in school cafeterias — all make it far too easy for children to eat themselves sick.

As a former obese child who fights all these forces to remain a normal-sized adult, I applaud every show, every article, every effort. But here is what I know about being a fat kid: It is at least as much about your head as it is about what you put in your mouth. Yes indeed, bad foods are cheaper and more seductive than healthful foods, and we need to call a cease-fire on the endless barrage of junk kids face. But it is also true that fat kids eat differently than non-fat kids, something that is rarely discussed.

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