Being a parent of fat kids can be tough. But there is good news.
Just to keep things in perspective, you should know the good news:
"Children are better behaved than they used to be, BUT they are packing on the pounds," according to a Washington study Report on America's Children which says that kids are:
THE BAD NEWS:
There are a lot of fat kids, but also, a lot of PARENTS are in denial, says Dr. Mark Tremblay, chairman of “Active Healthy Kids” -- there's a “real disconnect” on the part of parents!
We're all in this together.
Experts say that the obesity epidemic of fat kids is simply because we haven't adapted since times when food was hard to get so that people burned thousands of calories working or finding their next meal.
Today, overweight kids tend to do little more than lie on the couch or bed, inseparable from their screens. Visits to the kitchen are often the only break.
A fatty liver is when liver cells are gorged with fat, like a stuffed goose, explains Dr. Brian Mc Crindle, a professor of pediatrics.
“Fatty liver,”or “foi gras” is what happens to a goose when you force-feed it, and stuff it full of food. This happens to "stuffed" fat kids too!
“It is a sea of calories in which we are drowning. We are all in the same sinking ship in a high-speed, high calorie world.”
Making Small Changes CAN Give Fat Kids A Better Chance
Dr. James Hill, of the University of Colorado Health Sciences, set out to find what families can easily -- that the kids will go along with -- to prevent kids from bulging at their waist lines and gaining too much weight.
A group of over 200 families, all of which had at least one overweight child, aged 7 to 14 years, were assigned to do the following:
1) increase their physical activity by walking an extra 2,000 steps per day
2) eliminate 100 calories from their daily diet
How to get fat kids away from their screens and off the couch?
Here are ideas for how to include all kids, especially fat kids.
Laumann has found that it can be as easy as knocking on several neighbors’ doors to make one night a week an ongoing supervised “Park Night” at a neighborhood playground.
She gives the example of one mother who started a “walking school bus” by walking her kids to school and picking up others along the way. Everyone has fun, including kids who would otherwise get a ride to school.
For safe neighborhoods and fostering unstructured play, get Laumann’s book:
Child's Play: Rediscovering the Joy of Play in Our Families and Communities
“INVISIBLE” LIQUID CALORIES in beverages, say researchers, play a big role in child weight gain because people don’t realize the calories that are in these drinks.
These drinks also leave kids hungrier than food does, for the calories consumed.
By 2001, soda, juice, milk, beer and other beverages accounted for 21 per cent of the calories consumed in the US, which was a 16 per cent increase over 20 years, according to Barry Popkin, a researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: Although everyone eats artificial sweeteners to lose weight, the research shows that they increase insulin, so that in the long run they increase the appetite and therefore cause people to GAIN weight.
To get kids eating healthy, you may need help:
These tend to have a high sugar, low nutrition and low fiber content.
They spike your blood sugar, MAKE YOU FAT and set kids up for LIFE-LONG health problems.
Find healthy snack recipes for kids instead! Or just snack on nuts, veggie sticks, fruit, air popped popcorn, and dark chocolate.
With creative healthy eating activities for kids, they CAN become motivated for themselves!
More bad news especially for TEENS: a habit of diet soda will not keep you slim nor healthy! Why?
DIET SODA DISCOVERY:
A study monitored the weight and soda-drinking habits of more than 600 normal-weight patients aged 25-64.
When the researchers followed up on the patients some eight years later, they discovered:
Those who drank diet soda had a greater chance of becoming overweight than participants who drank regular soda.
The researchers figure that diet soda can't in itself be blamed for weight gain.
They offer a few possibilities, and you can discuss these as part of a healthy eating activities for kids:
While you are satisfied by the sweet taste of diet soda in the short term, the brain isn't really fooled and still craves calories for energy!
So, with BOTH diet sodas AND sugar-sweetened drinks, including fruit juices, leading to weight gain and obesity, you might wonder, "What is safe to drink?"
The answer, of course, is water, milk or milk substitute.
What are the best options for sweets?
For healthy snack recipes for kids, get used to using stevia – a natural no-cal sweetener.
It has been used for centuries in South America, for decades in Japan, but kept very quiet in the U.S. and Canada.
Stevia is a natural sweetener 300 times sweeter than sugar. With NO CALORIES.!!!
Children can use stevia without health concerns:
Our fast paced, high calorie world is dangerous for kids who often are glued to their screens with only minor interruptions of visits to the kitchen.
He warns that these kids are facing a shorter life span than that of their parents.
Find out if there is a Shape Down Program in your area for getting support as a family:
Find out if there is a Shape Down Program in your area
If the problem is too big, too frustrating, too anything, begin NOW to make even small changes.
You may need outside help for how to deal with fat kids in your life -- and help with the emotions they go through.
We hope that you have found our research helpful.
Get them involved! Making healthy meals for kids is a challenge!
Find more Healthy Eating Activities for Kids. Good luck, and let us know what worked for you.
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