Monday, April 4, 2011

Parental Involvement and Childhood Obesity

This evening I read a article that focuses on parental involvement and how this contributes in efforts to reduce chilhood obesity. The article says:

One of the best ways to reduce childhood obesity is through parental involvement in a child's life. Specifically- helping his or her child make the right food decisions.

An Australian study examined 165 overweight children and randomly assigned them to one of three programs: an exercise program, a parent-controlled diet program, or a program combining both diet and exercise. After two years, all children experienced weight loss but the report noted that “the greatest effects were achieved through inclusion of a parent-centered diet program.

A Harvard Medical school study of over 16,000 children found that “eating family dinner was associated with healthful dietary intake patterns, including more fruits and vegetables, less fried food and soda, less saturated and trans fat, lower glycemic load, more fiber and micronutrients from food, and no material differences in red meat or snack foods.”

Becoming more involved in what our children eat is one out of many efforts to reduce childhood obesity.It's never to late to begin. The Let's move campagin has great suggestons for you and your family:
Set the Family Up for Success
Small changes in five key areas can make a huge difference and add up to real results: eat more fruits and vegetables, consume less sugar and fat, eat healthier snacks, watch portion size, and eat together as a family.

Fruits & Vegetables
Kids should eat five fruits and vegetables a day
Serve fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables; they all count
Provide fruit or carrot sticks as great snacks
Offer 100% juice, with no added sugar
Mix vegetables into dishes, like adding peas to rice, or cucumbers to a sandwich
Healthy Choices to Reduce Fat and Sugar
Switch to low or non-fat milk, yogurt and cheese
Choose lean cuts of meat like skinless chicken or extra lean ground beef for hamburgers or pasta sauces
Bake or grill instead of fry
Substitute olive or vegetable oil for butter
Substitute water or low-fat milk for sodas or sugar-sweetened beverages
Switch to lower sugar breakfast cereals
Switch desserts like ice cream and cake for fruit-based desserts
Reduce the number of snacks served each day
Leave a bowl of fruit or carrot sticks on the kitchen table
Differentiate between snacks that require permission (cookies), versus snacks that kids can take freely (fresh or dried fruit or vegetable sticks)
Have kids drink water at snack time
Save "treats" for special occasions
Portion Size
Kids are smaller than adults and should eat smaller portions
Use smaller plates for kids
Don't force kids to clean their plates if they are full
Provide portions equal to the size of the back of a fist—a child’s fist for a child’s portion
Start with a small portion. Children can have seconds if they are still hungry
Eat Together
Family meals focus on eating and enjoying food and each other
Eating together is a chance to model good behavior
Regularly scheduled meal and snack times help kids learn structure for eating

No comments:

Post a Comment