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Lifestyle Choices

Post new topicReply to topic lookcut.com Forum Index -> Childhood Obesity help
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Clairec23



Joined: 14 Jan 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:39 am Post subject: Lifestyle Choices Reply with quote

I am pretty concerned with childhood obesity. When I was a kid (not THAT long ago) an overweight child was quite rare, maybe one or two in each class but now it is obvious that weight problems are getting out of control with this generation of children.

Is it our lifestyles that are causing these problems? Soft parenting? Lack of knowledge about the food we eat? What do you think and how can we prevent it from happening? I feel like my own children are less active and get a lot more treats than I would have been - they play game consoles and eat convenience foods. Sometimes I think they are eating a food that is quite healthy only to discover that it has hidden bad elements like salt for example. How can I make exercise and healthy food more appealing without making it seem like a chore or punishment?
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joel



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:26 pm Post subject: childhood obesity Reply with quote

Childhood obesity is a really interesting topic. I think one of the first things to give some serious thought to is the notion that there is a difference between foods that nourish and many so called "foods" that are not really food but are really drugs in disguise as food.

In virtually every way, many junk foods work exactly like drugs to promote compulsive and addictive behavior. . The body has no natural controls to stop intake of these foods. One way to look childhood obesity is to view it as a form of drug dependence, where the drugs are ingestible and edible. It sounds kind of shocking, I know, but this is in fact exactly what the latest research into compulsive eating points to - rich foods create runaway eating patterns.
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GI Jane



Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:25 pm Post subject: Reply with quote

When I first joined the board, I was most impressed and excited with this forum topic. So, I am glad to see it starting up. Weight loss is just as much about education as it is about exercise and food choices. This is especially evident when looking at childhood obesity. Everyone is aware of the growing problem of childhood obesity, and yet it doesn’t seem to be improving. Parents need help. And I think sites and forum topics like this will give them the opportunity to get that help.

My opinion, not speaking to psychological or physiological factors (which also play a role), I see childhood obesity being largely about the difference in lifestyle we live. Our lives, in general, are more consumed by time constraints. We are a lot busier than we have been in the past. But that Busyness doesn’t necessarily translate to being more active. IN fact, we are less active.

And to compound that, since we are busier, we tend to opt for conveniences like fast foods or other calorie-dense already prepared meals (and turn to snacking on sweets due to stress). You can imagine how the two, less activity and poor food choices, lead to weight gain. Kids are more susceptible than adults because it is much easier for them to surpass their caloric needs, and thus gain weight. For example, if the average 10 year old requires only 2,000 calories a day and has a hamburger meal that is 1,000 calories in one meal, they have already eaten half their daily need. Sodas, candy, and other “treats” add up quickly, and if what Joel says is correct, they will push children to eat even more exacerbating the issue.
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joel



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:52 pm Post subject: Childhood obesity and early weight gain Reply with quote

There is some interesting new research demonstrating that childhood obesity is largely determined between 0-5 years old. The best predictor of a childs weight by age 9 or 10 is their weight at 5 years old.

If you can keep your childs weight under control through the age of 5, the risk of childhood obesity is significantly reduced.
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Tigger



Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:53 pm Post subject: Reply with quote

That's interesting, joel. I'd never heard that before, but it this a good topic to linger on, isn't it?
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Mother of 3



Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:18 pm Post subject: Reply with quote

I partly blame the schools. When my kids were younger I feed them what I wanted. I had more control over what they ate. When they got older adn went to school even if I packed them a healthy lunch they still can order unhealthy food from school. I was shocked at some of the things they could eat. Vending machines with soda and cookies. It has been a struggle to make sure they are eating what they are supposed to.
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joel



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:11 am Post subject: childhood obesity and early weight gain Reply with quote

I think part of the problem has a lot to do with the ease and availability of sugar drinks, particularly in schools. I've seen our kids and all of their friends get virtually addicted to sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened iced teas. These types of drinks are the very worst culprits for kids because they dump massive amounts of sugar in the blood and are highly addictive.
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Heather Downey



Joined: 22 Dec 2008
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:26 pm Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a HUGE topic!!! I should know just how bad the "hot" lunches are at school, since my son is 11 years old. They are horrible, and so unbalanced. I make his lunch but I know when he has a chance he still eats crap when he is with his friends, etc... We just had a huge discussion about this last week actually. There need to be far better lunch choices in the school system, and they need to lose the soda and candy. The vending machines should have water, healthy juices, nuts, granola bars, etc...I am actually in the process of looking into different parenting groups that unite and address nutrition in the school system. I will post here when I have more info, so that others may also get involved:)
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antkmom



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:17 pm Post subject: Reply with quote

When I brought my 7 yr old to the doctor and he told me that she was overweight I was shocked!! She is a head taller then the other kids in her class, but never seemed to be overweight to me. It was a big wakeup call. I started to evaluate what she was eating and taught her to start making healthier choices. Now she snacks on fruits and veggies rather than chips( which I no longer buy).

I believe that there are so many factors that influence childhood obesity that it is the parents responsibility to teach their children by example. The parents can control what their kids eat. If the school lunches are that horrible, pack your child a healthy lunch.
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GI Jane



Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:03 am Post subject: Reply with quote

Parents are on the front lines. They are the ones cooking the meals (or buying the fast food), packing the lunches (or dolling out the lunch money), and setting the example for how their kids will eat. Certainly they are the single biggest influence on how their kids eat, exercise and live. That means parents need to get educated themselves about what is healthy and constitutes proper diet and exercise.

Cooking takes time, and eating healthy costs more (especially in these times, both may be in short supply). But it is crucial that parents take active involvement in their kids physical health, just as they would (and should) in their education or emotional health.
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joel



Joined: 04 Mar 2008
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:17 am Post subject: breast feeding and obesity Reply with quote

Breast feeding confers much more protection on children against being overweight or obese later in life due to the transfer of the hormone leptin from breast milk. There is a lot of new research to in this arena. Thought it was worth mentioning in the childhood obesity/weight loss forum
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