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Monday, December 3, 2012

Reducing childhood obesity – make them move more while leaning on good nutrition.


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Obesity in children. Credit:Flickr.com, Joe_13
Obesity, or the expansion of waistlines, is now a major concern globally. That is why I decided to make it the subject of my online research for this week. The links bellow are important topical aspects of childhood obesity which I found on the Net.

Childhood obesity is now a global epidemic.

Who is to blame?

More people in the world are obese than hungry. This could be due to, amongst others, over-consumption of unhealthy foods, increasingly sedentary lifestyles and the increase in incomes earned by people all over the world. Who is to blame for this trend? This question is striking particularly where snack food multinationals are spread worldwide and traditional foods are not questioned for their high calorie content. – Source: Alaska Dispatch.

Suggested ways to tackle childhood obesity.

This author emphasizes physical activity. He cites statistics that are relevant to Canada: 2007, 20% of adolescents had unhealthy weights; by 2040, 70% of adults aged 40 years and over will be overweight. The cost of all these in terms in hospital bills is high, along with the cost of unemployment due to obesity. Some solutions the author thinks are workable are Physical Education programs in schools and less of TV and video games viewing for our kids. Also, parents should teach their kids how to develop healthy eating habits. Source: The Daily News

From the Research Labs.

Obesity rates in U.S children has tripled in past 30 years.

According to research statistics, 17% of 2 – 19 year olds in the U.S are obese. 1 in 7 low-income preschoolers are obese. Between 1980 and 2008, number of overweight U.S children has tripled.
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The extra weight increases the chances of these kids’ developing high cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and asthma along with other chronic health problems. He advises parents to get the kids moving more and providing good nutrition. They should substitute fruits for peanut butter sandwiches. Source: Winona Daily News.

Childhood obesity, lack of exercise not overeating.

Lack of exercise, not overeating is the major cause of childhood obesity, says researchers from a 4 year study. Although good nutrition is important for children’s general health, when it comes to reducing childhood obesity, the best solution is to keep them moving more. The kids studied were not problem children, but everyday children. Source: MSN Recipefinder

Childhood Obesity stimulants.

Adver-games touting sugary foods.

Adver-games are games on mobile phones or tablets usually featuring unhealthy foods like cereals, candy etc. These games get the kids hooked and addicted. It was found that children ate 50% more snack foods immediately after playing these games. The Federal Trade Commission, (FTC), has no authority over these markets, so each company sets its own rules. Source: ClickOrlando

How the fight is being played.

Nemours’ Healthy Habit Program takes the fight to preschool.

Several institutions are teaming up with Nemours to fight childhood obesity, and these starting from preschool. The program, Nemours’ Healthy Habit Program, begun in 2009, intends getting tots and teachers thinking more about eating fresh foods and less food from boxes, drinking lots of water instead of juice and sugar-sweetened beverages. The program is run by funds from charitable bodies. Source: Orlando Sentinel.

Reversing Adolescent Obesity.

This is a program that stresses education and self-improvement over obsessing over the weight scale. It is being rolled out in Framingham area after initial Boston launch in 2010. The program de-emphasizes anti-obesity style campaigns but instead relies on teaching kids command over their decisions. Results from the program will not be evident until the long-term. It is organized by the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, Boston Massachusetts. Source: Framingham Tab.

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The combi-oven.

A cross between a steam and an oven, the combi-oven can make French fries without waistline-expanding oil. Its only problem is that it will cost each school about $18, 000. Most schools need two to cook for hundreds of children. Over one school year, a large high school switching to baked fries could take 5.4 million calories out of the cumulative diet of students, with 900,000 fewer grams of fat served. Source: Clarion Ledger.

Finally, you can be fat and happy if you have the FTO gene.

The notion of “fat but happy” could be bolstered by a new study. The FTO gene which is a major genetic contributor to obesity by hiking up calorie consumption has been linked to an 8% reduction in the risk for depression. This complicates the conventional wisdom that depression increases the risk of obesity. Yet, the study states that this reduction is not very much significant! Let’s just hope that feeling bad about your weight can just make you fatter. Source: Huffington Post Science.

Have any comments to make? Any link on childhood obesity to contribute? There is a comments box below.

( Related Post: Policy measures that could arrest rising health care costs from expanding waistlines. )


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