Childhood Obesity

With more than 30 percent of children overweight and one in five considered obese, U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher calls childhood obesity a national health problem with frightening long-term implications. The American Medical Association considers the problem so serious that it addressed the subject in its prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Parents of overweight and obese children call it heartbreak. Most available treatments for obese children have yielded only modest, unsustained efforts, what’s a parent to do?

Because most prevention programs that specifically attempt to reduce fat and energy intake and increase physical activity have been ineffective at changing body fatness, there is a need for innovative approaches to prevent obesity.

1. Get kids moving. To lose weight, kids must burn more calories than they take in. No one physical activity is better than another for calorie expenditure. So let kids find the type of activity they enjoy. Then build it into the family’s routine.

2. Start babies off slim and fit by restricting their diet during the first year to breast milk. There is really no solid scientific evidence that babies need anything other than formula or breast milk during the first year. When carbohydrates (cereal) are introduced too early, they are not digested efficiently because the protein in milk and carbohydrates are digested in completely different ways leading to maldigestion. Excessive maldigested foods lead to excess weight.

3. Feed kids alternatives to commercially produced cow’s milk. At five times the protein content of breast milk, cow’s milk and the bovine growth hormone it contains make kids bigger and fatter. Instead use soy milk fortified with calcium or Rice Dream, a milk created from rice.

4. Get high-risk foods out of the house. Don’t buy snack foods high in calories; they’re fattening for the entire family.

5. Establish family meal schedules. Get kids accustomed to eating at specified times with small snacks in between, rather than all day long.

6. Buy organic health foods. The additives in our foods are chemicals, not nutrients, and are therefore neither utilized nor eliminated by the body. The preservatives, steroids and growth hormones in our foods, particularly in meat, chicken, milk and other dairy products, become stored in our bodies, adding to our weight.

7. Reduce time spent watching television and playing video games. In a study of 192 third and fourth grade children, the group that received a six-month classroom curriculum to reduce television, videotape and video game use had significant decreases in body mass and body fat.

8. Teach children conscious food combining. Fruit should be eaten alone on an empty stomach for quick absorption. If introduced into the digestive system when other foods are present, it will just sit there. Mixing carbohydrates and proteins should be minimized. Once animal protein is eaten, it should be followed primarily by protein.

9. Never nag children about eating and being fat. Criticism only raises stress and anxiety levels, making the problem worse.

10. Don’t obsess over controlling what your child eats. Everyone in the family has his own issues to deal with. Don’t make the entire family focus on controlling the overweight child’s food intake. Instead, put the emphasis on being healthy and involve the children in attaining that goal.

Source: Ivanhoe Newswire

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