Over the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than tripled.
Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term health impacts:
- Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of five to 17 year olds, 70 percent of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
- Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.
- Obese youth are more likely than youth of normal weight to become overweight or obese adults, and therefore more at risk for associated adult health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes,stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
Healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases.
Here, Janice Taylor, certified Life and Wellness Coach, Hypnotist, author and creator of the Kick in the Tush Club shares her story and her best tips on how you can help to "kick childhood obesity in the tush" -- one household at a time! To receive her complementary e-book and the audio version of her personal story, visit Kick in the Tush Club.
I was born fat. Traditionally, newborns lose an ounce or two their first week on the planet, but not me. I gained; an ominous sign. By the time I reached second grade, I weighed-in at 112 pounds.
Being a fat kid is not fun. I remember one morning, in particular. As I approached the school bus stop, I was greeted by a group of school "friends" who were chanting, "Here comes Fatty Lu. Here comes Fatty Lu."
I ignored them as best I could. After all, my name is not "Fatty Lu."
I wanted to escape it all, and I found great relief in writing letters to Hollywood producers, in hopes that I would be "discovered" -- well, more like saved or rescued.
"Dear Mr. Producer," I wrote, "I am a chubby, interesting-looking, 8-year-old girl. I have dark hair, dark eyes and an olive complexion. I wear light blue cat-eye glasses with gold flecks. I have a lot of character. People ask me if I am adopted and wonder if I'm from India. I'm not ... from India or adopted. Please come and discover me. Janice"
Meanwhile back at the home front, my mother, while visibly and audibly upset with my weight, dished out platters full of mixed messages and cake. Yes, cake was her thing. She truly felt that life was nothing without cake. The names Sara Lee and Betty Crocker were bandied about at home with such frequency that I began to think of them as family members. Would Aunt Betty be joining us for dinner? More than likely, yes!
Alas, I was not discovered by Hollywood. I did the yo-yo thing for many a decade. And then mysteriously one day, nine years ago, something snapped, crackled, popped and I got "it."
I rescued myself and permanently lost over 50 pounds.
As a Life & Wellness Coach, I often receive emails and phone calls from mothers who want me to help their daughters to lose weight (rarely a son). It breaks my heart to think that there are so many little girls and boys who are hurting in so many ways, on so many levels.
I am on a mission to make health, wellness and weight loss and to end the pain of childhood obesity.
Please join with me! Here are some simple tips on how you can be a part of the solution, as you end childhood obesity, one household at a time!
Kick Childhood Obesity in the Tush
How to End to Childhood Obesity, One Household at a Time.
1. Be A Wellness Role Model. Lead by example. If you are overweight, your children's risk of becoming an overweight adult is increased by 25% and, if both parents are overweight, the risk jumps to 50 perceent.
2. Be Positive. Leave your judgment, lectures and nagging at the door. Encourage and support your children to live their best life.
3. Erase the word "diet" from your vocabulary. The word diet is associated with deprivation. Instead of focusing on what is being "taken away," focus on the healthy bounty of exciting and delicious foods that you and your family can eat.
4. Shop Together. Ask for your children's input. Sit down and create a shopping list that includes high-nutrient foods. If your child says, "I'd really like a chocolate donut." See if you can include one sweet (perhaps, a one-oz. square of dark chocolate) along with a fruit salad into the day's food plan. Should your child still want the donut, buy one tiny pack of pre-portioned mini-donuts. Do not keep an endless supply on hand.
5. Read the Labels Together. Learn the art of reading a food label! Teach yourself and your children. Pay attention to the ingredients, and of course, portion size. Steer away from "enriched" products and foods that have high fructose corn syrup in them. (Enriched means that everything good has been stripped out, and the manufacturer has to put something back into it lest it has no nutritional value. HFCS is simply unhealthy, in my opinion.)
6. Cook Together. Cooking with your children not only encourages them to try healthy foods, but it builds self-esteem. Children feel like they are accomplishing something, and the skills they are building will stay with them for the rest of their life and be passed down to the next generation. That's quite a legacy!
7. One New Healthy Food Each Week. Introduce one new food to the family dinner table each week. It will expand the entire family's food horizons, and you can use the new food as a topic of conversation.
8. Get Creative with Fruits and Veggies. Find interesting ways to include fruits and veggies into your children's food plan. Smoothies are always a good idea! For the truly creative and playful, place broccoli vertically in your mashed potatoes, so it looks like a tree, and then line the bottom of the mashed potatoes with peas. Pretend you are a dinosaur and devour all the trees and stones! This is not only for the littlest ones. My adult children still enjoy a tasty scene.
9. Drink Water. Water is one of the most important and overlooked nutrients for our children. Our bodies are 75 percent water, and a state of dehydration leads to a reduction in both mental and physical performance. Water helps to keep children healthy, helps them to perform better in school.
10. Happy Mealtime. Make mealtime a happy family time. Sit down and discuss the highlights of your day over a plethora of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and organic foods a plenty. Do not eat while watching television or reading the paper.
11. Healthy Breakfast. Studies show that children who eat breakfast have fewer disciplinary problems, less visits to the school nurse, and they have a higher aptitude for problem solving. They are more alert, more creative, have better hand-eye coordination, and are more physically active.
12. Get Moving. Do you and your family gather round the television and snack together as you watch The Biggest Loser? Instead of eating mindlessly in front of the television, how about a good game of badminton or horseshoes in your back yard? How about joining or creating a family-bowling league? How about a game of twister?
13. Love Trumps Fat. Love your children. Witness the true beauty of the person who is standing before you and mirror it right back to him or her.
For your downloadable tips, child-happy recipes and more, visit KickintheTushClub.com
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Join with Janice Taylor, your Life & Wellness Coach, at Omega:
Our Lady of Weight Loss EnLIGHTens; Health, Happiness & Well-Being - Janice Taylor, Life & Wellness Coach, Hypnotist, author & 55 pound big-time-loser, is on a mission. She wants to make health and weight loss fun and create balance and harmony in our life. For more information about her life-changing workshop at The Omega Institute, our nation's most trusted source for wellness and personal growth ... READ ON!