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To help kids shed weight, change up the family routine

By AFPRelaxnews | Sep 12, 2013 | COMMENTS [ 7 ]

To help kids fight the battle of the bulge, a new study suggests changing up household routines with a few simple strategies.

In a new study published online September 9 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, US and Canadian researchers implemented a home-based intervention to help young kids lose weight, by curbing TV time, increasing sleep time, and encouraging families to dine together, LiveScience reports.

While childhood obesity is looming large around the globe, the US is especially struggling: some 17 percent of US children are obese, with the problem particularly acute among minority groups and low-income families, the report added.

One solution: a holistic lifestyle change, Aaron Carroll, a pediatric obesity expert who penned an editorial to the study, suggested to LiveScience.

"Rather than drill down to a specific eating or exercise change, creating a healthier household may be a better way not only to improve weight, but overall physical and mental health as well," he wrote in the editorial.

In the study, researchers from Harvard Medical School and Ontario's University of Guelph enlisted 121 families with overweight kids in a six-month study, with 59 families assigned to a control group. Prior to the study, all of the children slept in a room with a television.

In the intervention group, families received in-home counseling about healthy habits, and children increased their sleep by a half hour per day, cut down their television time by one hour per day, and in turn reduced their body mass index (BMI) by 20 percent.

Children in the control group increased their BMI by 20 percent.

In a separate 2012 study from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, researchers found that televisions in bedrooms can put kids at greater risk of obesity. A separate 2011 study in the journal Pediatric Obesity also found that electronic devices -- TVs, computers, and mobile phones -- in kids' bedrooms are linked with both poor sleep and obesity.

COMMENTS [ 7 ]

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Todays mummys are soft, as soon as the child cries they cease. During my 80s generation, food was shoved down my throat had no choice foods!

Sep 12, 2013 10:41 | 0 replies

this is interesting but how many parents are committed to do this.I have been running(lifestyle change)since 2004,my kids love it and they invite me when theres school's fun run. I also encourage them to eat small portions or avoid certain foods but its difficult. I have started with making their lunchboxes with low GI breads and encouraging eating less at night and 2hrs before sleep,although they eat fruit and nuts at home,they do not want to take that to school.I have enrolled them at the nearby gym and they participate in different sporting activities,yes the results are visible(but as they go away for holidays,they eat anything)

Sep 12, 2013 11:29 | 0 replies

@Wisem, you are right.

Sep 12, 2013 11:33 | 0 replies

@Wisem
Todays mummys are soft, as soon as the child cries they cease. During my 80s generation, food was shoved down my throat had no choice foods!

And look at us now, fast food, drinking every weekend, feeding our kids fast food, are we better products of our up bringing, is our generation healthier than any generation before us.

Sep 12, 2013 12:42 | 0 replies

You really want to help kids shed weight?
STOP BUYING SNACKS AND SWEETS FOR THEM !!!!

Flippin moorons should stop using food to abuse kids by making them into unhealthy blimps.

Sep 12, 2013 2:20 | 0 replies

Give them malana le maotwana not Mc Donalds lol

Sep 12, 2013 3:21 | 0 replies

Americans have money, they spend time and energy researching ways to help kids shed some kilos in S Africa we have corrupt ANC with E-Tolls that are coming, expensive fuel, electricity, water, corrupt metro cops and SAPS, expensive health service, low income with high employment rate where one income earner has to feed more than 10family members, having fat kids is not really most people's challenges, but feeding these kids is the real issue!

Sep 12, 2013 3:52 | 0 replies