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Posts Tagged ‘Childhood Obesity’

Kids as Young as 7 Diagnosed with Anorexia

May 27, 2014

 

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I think all teachers should be trained to see the signs and implored to report any student behaviour which may lead to anorexia:

 

AUSTRALIA’S obsession with obesity is feeding deadly eating disorders which are claiming victims as young as 7, including an increasing number of boys.

Experts told a national eating disorders conference on the Gold Coast yesterday of a “toxic culture” of body image which is causing huge physical, psychological and financial harm.

Obsessive dieting was costing lives and almost $70 billion a year in health and productivity expenses, the Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference staged by the Australian and NZ Mental Health Association heard.

Christine Morgan, CEO of l eating disorders charity The Butterfly Foundation, said Australian children as young as seven were being hospitalised for anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

 

 

Click on the link to read The Destructive Impact of the “Fashion Police” Brigade

Click on the link to read The Plus Sized Barbie Debate Misses the Point

Click on the link to read Study Claims that Being Attractive can give you Better Grades

Click on the link to read The Unique Challenges that Body Image Represents for Females

Click on the link to read An 8-Year-Old’s Take on Body Image

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Is “Bubble Wrapping” Your Child Really Worthwhile?

May 25, 2014

 

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We all do it. Too afraid to risk a serious injury to your precious child we say, “Steer clear of that” or “Get off that ledge”. Nobody wants to see their child break a bone or scream in pain.

As a stay-at-home father I take my son to a park almost ever single day. The idea is to let him run around and enjoy the fresh air. But let’s face it, the average park is a great disappointment.  The equipment is designed to seem fun, but when tested is severely underwhelming. The slides are slow, the climbing apparatus is hardly off the ground and the greatest element of danger is being accidentally bumped into by another eager child. Park designers are simply afraid of potential lawsuits, so they design a layout high on colour and style and low on substance.

I read the following opinion piece in an online Canadian newspaper. I couldn’t agree with it more:

 

Imagine spending childhood outdoors, running, playing and even, heaven forbid, getting dirty.

Not only does it sound like a lot more fun than a play date booked three weeks in advance at an indoor gym under the protective watch of parents, but it’s also healthier.

And, unfortunately, it’s something that fewer and fewer Canadian children get to do, putting them at risk of growing overweight or just out of shape and, frankly, unadventurous.

As the Star’s Diana Zlomislic reported this past week, the first global report card to measure childhood physical activity gives Canadian youngsters an embarrassing D-minus score, behind top-rated countries like New Zealand, Mexico and even benighted Mozambique.

Leave aside the pointless comparison with a desperately poor country where kids do physical domestic chores like collecting water and walk to school as a matter of course. Ranked beside comparable countries, Canada still looks bad. Parents here may spend significant sums on structured activities but only 4 per cent of young people aged 12 to 17 get an hour of high cardio activity each day, according to a report by Active Healthy Kids Canada.

While it’s long been known that children are devoted to video games and parents stuck in gridlock run out of time to go outside with their kids and play, it’s fair to suggest that a little extra effort is needed.

Release those youngsters from the parental “bubblewrap,” as Healthy Kids’ researchers rightly suggest, and give them the freedom to play. Outdoor, unstructured play can provide kids with better exercise than the expensive programming.

As Healthy Kids’ chief scientific officer Dr. Mark Tremblay says, “We need to stop treating physical activity like a vitamin, something you take once a day.”

 

The Plus Sized Barbie Debate Misses the Point

December 24, 2013

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The debate over the latest push for a plus-sized Barbie is steeped in political correctness on both sides and ignores the children the toy is aimed at.

One side argues that Barbies aren’t of realistic dimension and the doll is guilty of influencing feelings of negative body image among young, impressionable girls.

The other side argue that the picture above shows an obese girl and that there is a responsibility to teach children that being overweight is not the ideal from a health standpoint.

My view is that Barbie has already had many decades of reproducing the same type of doll. It’s too late for the company to suddenly become inclusive. So your going to have one overweight doll amongst thousands of stick figures? That’s a great way to make someone overweight feel good, put them in a room crowded with models!

If they release the Barbie pictured above it will be the source of more bullying because one can’t help comparing it against every other Barbie ever produced. Even the marketing pitch shows the comparison.

Let’s take the responsibility of making our children body confident out of the hands of Mattel and lets own this problem and do something about it.

1. We need to tell our children that they are wonderful people, regardless of their size. If you think an overweight girl is unhealthy, try an overweight girl racked with guilt and self loathing.

2. Let’s not put such an emphasis on looks and instead replace the focus with more important attributes like kindness, empathy, loyalty and integrity.

3. Let’s help our young find their talents and show them how they can use their unique abilities to contribute to society in a meaningful way.

Plus sized Barbie is a meaningless, insincere and tokenistic gesture at a time when we need to show our kids that they really matter!

 

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Click on the link to read Study Claims that Being Attractive can give you Better Grades

Click on the link to read The Unique Challenges that Body Image Represents for Females

Click on the link to read An 8-Year-Old’s Take on Body Image

Click on the link to read A Father’s Advice to His Daughter About Beauty

Click on the link to read The Call to Stop Telling Your Children they are Beautiful

 

Woman Plans to Give ‘Fat Notes’ Instead of Candy to Trick or Treaters

October 31, 2013

 

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When will people start realising that the kids of today have had enough of the food associated guilt trips? I have never seen a child motivated to change their eating habits on the back of a public shaming, and I probably never will:

Children in a North Dakota neighborhood may be slated to get an awful surprise this Halloween: A local woman is reportedly planning to hand out “fat letters,” instead of candy, to kids she thinks are “moderately obese.”

Valley News Live reported a local Fargo woman called into Y-94 radio recently and revealed her plan to take on childhood obesity by handing out letters targeting trick-or-treaters whom she considers obese.

“I just want to send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight,” she told the station. “I think it’s just really irresponsible of parents to send them out looking for free candy just ’cause all the other kids are doing it.”

Valley News Live obtained a copy of the letter, in which the woman, who is only identified as Cheryl, writes, in part:

You [sic] child is, in my opinion, moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season. My hope is that you will step up as a parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits.

 

Click on the link to read The Unique Challenges that Body Image Represents for Females

Click on the link to read An 8-Year-Old’s Take on Body Image

Click on the link to read A Father’s Advice to His Daughter About Beauty

Click on the link to read The Call to Stop Telling Your Children they are Beautiful

Click on the link to read School Official’s Solution to Harassed Teen: Get a Breast Reduction

Click on the link to read Our Young Children Shouldn’t Even Know What a Diet Is?

We Must Allow Parents to Parent

July 8, 2013

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The proposal to ban parents from packing a lunch for their children is sheer lunacy. Whilst some packed lunches clearly contain too much sugar and fat, this is none of our business.

What’s next? The Government providing consequences for children just in case parents spoil their children by not setting parameters? The Government recruits personal trainers to switch off family television sets and take the children for a run?

And anyway, the lunchbox ban will be limited to lunch. What about breakfast? What about dinner? What about snacks and weekend restaurant visits and holidays?

Why can’t we just allow parents to parent without them being restricted, judged or lectured? Surely, a much better approach is to educate and work with parents rather than taking away their ability to do what they think is right for their own children:

Parents who make packed lunches for their children should stop, as it is making them fat, government food advisers warn.

Restaurateurs Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent argue school dinners are healthier than packed sandwiches, crisps and fizzy drinks, in a report to be published next week.

The report will also suggest that take-up must rise to at least 50 per cent to improve nutrition in meals and to save school dinners.

The pair’s school lunch plan, which will be launched this week alongside education secretary Michael Gove, also puts it down to head teachers to improve quality and take-up of school lunches.

‘A lot of heads will feel exasperated by this,’ Ian Bauckham, head of Bennett Memorial Diocesan school in Tunbridge Wells, Kent told The Sunday Times.

‘Many focus on a limited number of high priorities and we already have a big agenda to raise academic standards.’

As reported earlier this year, cooking lessons at school will become compulsory for children ages seven to 14 from September as the Government aims to ensure they can make up to 20 dishes before taking their GCSE exams.

And don’t get me started with compulsory cooking lessons at school. Remember when teachers were charged with the responsibility of helping students to read, write and become numerate? Boy, times have changed!

 

Click on the link to read my post on Tips For Parents on Packing a Healthy Lunch Box

Click on the link to read my post Exercising Wont Help Overweight Children: Study

Click on the link to read my post School Weigh-ins Are an Insult Rather Than a Solution

Click here to read my post ‘Considered Too Obese to Keep His Kids‘.

Click on the link to read Charity Pays for Teen’s Plastic Surgery to Help Stop Bullying

Click on the link to read my post, ‘Sparing Young Children the Affliction of Body Image‘.

Tips For Parents on Packing a Healthy Lunch Box

April 9, 2013

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The following tips are courtesy of bodyandsoul.com.au. Remember that a healthy lunch can do wonders in helping children concentrate in class:

1. Avoid processed foods

Avoid packing processed snack foods such as chips, sweet biscuits, chocolates, commercially-made muffins and breakfast bars. These contain high amounts of sugar, salt and fat, and are best left as a “sometimes” treat to be eaten at home. They shouldn’t make a regular addition to your kid’s school lunch box. If eaten too often, these types of foods can increase the risk of your kids putting on weight and developing type-2 diabetes and heart problems later on in life.

 

2. Healthy snacks

A healthier and cost-effective alternative is to buy your own fresh, natural ingredients and prepare your own snacks for the kids. Some great healthy snack ideas include wholegrain crackers, rice cakes or vegie sticks with hummus or cubes of low-fat cheese, small tubs of yoghurt, dried fruit and mixed raw nuts (avoid nuts if there is a ‘no nut policy’ at your kids’ school). Or if you’re prepared to get cooking, homemade fruit muffins, banana bread, oat cookies or muesli slices, are other great healthy treats to give kids.

 

3. Add fresh fruit

Always pack a piece of fruit for your child. Fruit is rich in vitamins A and C and antioxidants needed for strong immune systems. If you have trouble getting your kids to eat fruit, try these tips: pack a container of grapes, berries or cherries; give them a kiwi fruit to eat with a spoon; or mix diced fruit through a small tub of yoghurt. Tip: if you are cutting apples squeeze a little lemon juice over it so it won’t go brown.

 

4. No white bread

I recommend staying well away from white bread and make kids’ sandwiches with wholegrain bread. This is higher in fibre (to look after their bowel health) and also gives their tummy that feeling of fullness after their meal. Wholegrains are made up of slow-releasing carbohydrates which provides kids with energy to fuel their bodies and brains through the day, and helps support concentration at school too.

 

5. Pack in the protein

Be sure to include some type of protein with your child’s lunch. Protein is needed for kids’ healthy growth and development. It helps stabalise blood sugar levels, so your kids won’t have a dip in energy and craving sugary junk foods. Some good protein-rich sandwich fillings include low-fat cheese, hummus, tinned tuna or salmon, lean meat slices, chicken, turkey or a boiled egg. You could also include a protein-rich snack like a mix of raw nuts and seeds, yoghurt or cheese with crackers.

 

6. Add some veg

To get kids to eat their veggies through the day, give them chopped-up carrot or celery sticks packed with a small tub of hummus or cottage cheese. Or add some grated carrot, cucumber, capsicum or lettuce to sandwiches. Leftover roast vegies also make great sandwich fillers too.

 

7. Fruit juice warning

Avoid giving kids popper juices as too much fruit juice (and added sugars) can cause tooth erosion. If you need to give them fruit juice make sure you dilute it in a drink bottle, or buy one without added sugars.

 

8. Drink water

Always pack a bottle of water with your child’s lunch. It is important that kids drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated, especially if they are running around outside in the hot weather. Put water bottles cool in a cold pack to keep them cool.

9. Nutritious sandwich fillings

Leftovers make for nutritious (and handy) sandwich fillers too. For something different try mixing left-over frittata, pasta, rissoles, fish cakes, roast chicken or lamb on your kids’ sandwiches.

 

10. Other than Vegemite

If they insist on having the traditional Vegemite, peanut butter or honey sandwiches each day, here are a few tips to make their favourites more nutritious. For Vegemite lovers (there’s now one available with low soidium too), a healthy combo is to mix it with either lettuce, avocado, crushed walnuts or cheese. If your child is going through a peanut butter stage, buy an all-natural one made from pure peanuts (without all the added salt, fat and sugar). Almond butter is also delicious and a great source of good fats, protein and calcium. Sliced banana or ricotta taste great with nut butters too. And since honey is high in sugar, you don’t want to be giving it to them all the time. However buying a raw honey and adding it to some sliced banana, ricotta or nut butter makes a more nutritious sandwich filling.

 

 

Click on the link to read my post on Getting Kids to Eat Healthy Food

Click on the link to read my post on A Long School Day With No Time to Eat

Click on the link to read my post on 6 Strategies for Promoting Healthy Food to Kids.

Click on the link to read 5 Ways to Get Kids Active

Click on the link to read Food Giants Marketing Unhealthy Kids Foods as Healthy

Click on the link to read Good Heavens! It’s the Lunch Box Police!

Exercising Wont Help Overweight Children: Study

September 30, 2012

 

A recent study suggests that we forget about getting overweight children to engage in physical activity and instead focus on healthier eating.

Eating less, not forcing children to do more exercise is the key to combating the childhood obesity crisis, experts have said, as a study shows youngsters compensate by becoming more idle at other times.

A major review of research into childhood exercise programmes has found that enforcing extra activity on children does not affect how active they are overall, as they simply do less at other times of the day.

This means that extra exercise programmes will not reduce the childhood obesity crisis and policies should focus on what children eat instead, experts said.

There are no quick fixes to losing weight. Enrolling your children into an extra-curricular sporting activity may be a good start, but it is unlikely to be sufficient. Physical activity doesn’t just involve football practice, it also involves spending less time in front of a screen and more time in the fresh air. It encourage children to walk to the local shops or library instead of depending on a lift.

The key to any life changing decision is balance and common sense. A change of diet might be paramount to weight loss but other factors should not be ignored.

Click on the link to read my post School Weigh-ins Are an Insult Rather Than a Solution

Click here to read my post ‘Considered Too Obese to Keep His Kids‘.

Click on the link to read Charity Pays for Teen’s Plastic Surgery to Help Stop Bullying

Click on the link to read my post, ‘Sparing Young Children the Affliction of Body Image‘.

The School Campaign Against Milk

July 27, 2012

How did milk suddenly become public enemy number 1?

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a national vegan and physician group based out of D.C., has filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking for milk to be banned from school lunches, according parenting site BabyCenter.

According to the report, PCRM claims that the beverage is “…high in sugar, high in fat and high in animal protein that is harmful to, rather than protective of, bone health.”

Despite the American Heart Association’s recommendation that children between ages 1 and 8 drink around two cups of reduced-fat milk a day, the PCRM asserts in its petition there are better ways for youngsters to get their calcium.

“Children can get the calcium they need from beans, green leafy vegetables (e.g., broccoli, kale, collard greens), tofu products, breads and cereals. Additionally, a wide variety of non-dairy, calcium-fortified beverages is available today including soy milk, rice milk and fruit juice, all of which provide greater health and nutritional benefits compared with dairy milk.”

Click on the link to read Teachers Should Stop Blaming Parents and Start Acting

Click on the link to read The Benefits of Reality TV on Kids

Click on the link to read Study Reveals Children Aren’t Selfish After All

 

Welcome to the Generation of the Knee-Jerk Reaction

July 12, 2012

Education and support have been thrown out the window in favour of control and over-regulation:

Authorities in Victoria are now using concerns about extreme obesity as justification for removing children from the care of their parents.

The Department of Health Services has removed at least two children from their parents’ care this year over the issue.

Associate Professor John Dixon, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, says the number is expected to rise in the coming years.

“We’ve got to understand that as the waistlines of our kids grow, we’re going to have these extreme case of obesity,” he told News Breakfast.

Professor Dixon says sometimes removing the child is the best option.

“It’s not the obesity itself that would lead to a child being removed from their home, but it would be a range of circumstances that would make it difficult for that child to be managed in the best way at home,” he said.

“[Obesity can be the result of a] whole range of environmental issues, the food, the lack of transport, all sorts of things.

“But it also can be symptomatic of dysfunctional circumstances… where there’s problems; mental illness, siblings with disabilities, that really make family life for some of these children very complex indeed, and produce that rare circumstance where they may be better off out of home for a while.

“Thinking of the rights of the child, the best interests of the child, if it’s counterproductive to be at home, then in very rare circumstances that child may be best off not at home.”

Click here to read my post ‘Considered Too Obese to Keep His Kids‘.

Discussing Weight Issues with Your Children

July 2, 2012

I am of the opinion that one shouldn’t need to discuss ‘weight’ with issues with your children. I prefer a more positive approach where healthy food and exercise is promoted rather than “negative talk” which is likely to make the child even more self-conscious.

A new report says parents are concerned that talking to their child about their weight will lead to an eating disorder.

This figure rises to 65% of parents who identify their child as being overweight or obese.

More than 1,000 parents with a child aged 5-16 responded to the Let’s talk about weight survey on Netmums and shared how they feel about bringing up the topic of weight with their child.

I do understand that the problem is more complicated than just advocating health over weight loss. I also realise that children are too smart not to realise that healthy lifestyle measures are a result of their weight issues.

What is your opinion? How should parents discuss weight issues with their children?

Click on the link to read my post, ‘Sparing Young Children the Affliction of Body Image‘.


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