Tackling Childhood Obesity A Family Affair, Says Expert

Feb 19, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- "We are at a crossroads, where the unfortunate reality is that the current generation of children is more likely to pre-decease their parents because of the development of early onset obesity and inactivity-related diseases, such as type II diabetes," said Betsy Keller, professor of exercise and sport sciences at Ithaca College.

Keller explained that the greatest risk for is an obese parent. Typically, with obese parents learn and practice family eating and lifestyle behaviors that contribute to the development of obesity, instilling such behaviors early in life.

“Children of obese parents are themselves 13 times more likely to be obese; it is critical to effectively change the tide of what has become the norm in too many U. S. families. The solution is not simple, but efforts to regain healthful levels of in children are more successful and long lasting than in adults. For that reason, First Lady Michelle Obama’s call to focus on children’s health is important and urgent,” said Keller.

Studies show the percentage of overweight children, pre-teens and teenagers has increased between 5 and 19 percent from the mid-1970s to the present.

“We now have more than one generation in which obesity has been highly prevalent. We have a generation whose parents, and perhaps even grandparents, are likely to be obese, and may very well have only obese family members as a frame of reference for body size,” she said.

According to Keller preventing obesity in children is far easier than treating obesity. To successfully reverse the obesity trend the entire family must embrace the treatment program with regular and sufficient levels of physical activity coupled with a and calorie count.

“More than 70 percent of parents incorrectly think their kids get enough physical activity. So it’s likely that your kid may not be getting enough physical activity either,” said Keller.

Keller cites recent research reported in the journal Pediatrics, which states that a good way to start tackling this problem in young children is a three prong approach: 1) limit “screen” time to 2 hours per day; 2) eat the evening meal as a family most days of the week, 3) make sure your young child gets at least 10.5 hours/night of sleep. Being a role model for healthy eating and behaviors will impress your child of any age, and have long-lasting, healthful benefits for all.

A fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine and the author of numerous journal articles on sport medicine and physical fitness, Keller examines the relationship between physical inactivity and the development of in children and the effects of chronic fatigue syndrome on physical function.

Explore further: Tax forms could pose challenge for HealthCare.gov

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Childhood obesity link to parents

Jul 13, 2009

The relationships between children and their parent of the same gender in the earliest years of life could be the key to understanding why some young people become obese and others do not, new research conducted by the EarlyBird ...

Recommended for you

Can YouTube save your life?

Aug 29, 2014

Only a handful of CPR and basic life support (BLS) videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study published in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the jo ...

Doctors frequently experience ethical dilemmas

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

AMGA: Physician turnover still high in 2013

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Obese or overweight teens more likely to become smokers

Aug 29, 2014

A study examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse finds both good and bad news: weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

GregHight
not rated yet Feb 23, 2010
Unfortunately, many parents get offended if anyone tells them that their little tub o lard is fat. Get a hint, the kid has 3 chins. He's FAT!