Lori Brizee: My Child is Overweight! What’s a Parent to Do?

over 11 years ago
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Alon Cohen (alon)

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My Child is Overweight! What’s a Parent to Do?

By: By Lori S. Brizee MS, RD, LD, CSP

http://nutrition.bitwine.com/users/lbrizee

Overweight in children is increasing rapidly in the USA and in every other developed country in the world. Being overweight increases risks for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, joint problems, and so on. What is the best way to deal with it?

The response of some communities is to weigh and measure children at school and send a note home in each child’s report card that tells her Body Mass Index and whether or not she is over weight (Bend Bulletin article on Monday, January 8, 2007; “Now on Your Report Card: What you Weigh” by Jody Kantor, New York Times). Proponents of this practice believe that we all need to be more aware of the problem of childhood overweight and obesity, and this is a practical way to raise awareness. In reality, these notes serve to make even slightly overweight children feel badly about themselves, and have driven some to full fledged eating disorders.

As a pediatric nutritionist, I believe that it is important for all children to eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. Singling out overweight children will not solve the issues of childhood overweight. There are many good research studies that provide insights into the factors associated with childhood obesity; these help us to develop practical guidelines for reducing the problem.

A few factors associated with childhood overweight:

  • Skipping breakfast.
  • Television viewing and playing video games.
  • Decreased family meals.
  • Living in areas where outside play is viewed as unsafe.
  • High intake of sweetened beverages, especially between regular meals and snacks. This includes soda pop, fruit drinks and 100% fruit juice.

There are lots of things we can do to help our children gain weight at a healthy rate, without ever calling attention to an individual child’s overweight status:

  • Eat at least one meal together as a family each day.

    - Turn the television off, put away the newspaper and enjoy your food together.

    - Sit down at a table to eat both meals and snacks, whether eating as a family or alone.

  • Eat breakfast every day. Try peanut butter on toast and a banana, or yogurt, fruit and a muffin for quick, nutritious breakfasts.
  • Cut down on or avoid sugared drinks and fruit juice. 100% fruit juice has as much or more sugar as soda pop and fruit drinks and juice contains fewer nutrients than do whole fruits.
  • Increase fruits and vegetables!!

- Eat at least one fruit or vegetable at each meal and snack; your goal is 2 ½ to 3 ½ cups of vegetables and at least 1 cup of fruit each day.

  • Eat more soups for lunch and dinner.

- Make soups from scratch or from a canned or packaged soup base, and add fresh, frozen or canned vegetables. Due to their high liquid content, soups fill you up with fewer calories than do solid foods.

- Soups are a great way to get a few more vegetables into your children, plus they taste great on a cold winter day.

  • Get active!!

- Turn off the television!

- Enroll your children in swimming lessons.

- Try soccer or other team sports.

- Go for family walks.

- Go out and play in the snow when we have it!!

- Create a family garden, or use a few flowerpots to plant cherry tomatoes, peppers or other vegetables and herbs.

- Have family yard work days.

- Go biking, walking, swimming, roller-skating or ice skating, or play Frisbee instead of renting a movie in the evening.

- Clean the house together. Have a mini contest for making the bed the quickest (and best), hanging up clothes, dumping wastebaskets. Why not do things that help parents out??

There are many things that can be done to avoid excess eating and to increase physical activity; the keys to stopping excess weight gain. Note that most of the things listed above involved the whole family; active parenting helps our children to be more physically healthy!!

What should you NOT do??—DO NOT put your child on a “diet;” that is the surest way to make him want to overeat. If your child is overweight and you would like help to deal with it, see a Registered Dietitian (RD) for advice. An RD will evaluate your family and child’s lifestyle, eating, and physical activity habits and help you find ways to make positive, meaningful changes for your family.

Lori Brizee is a Registered Dietitian and co-owner of Central Oregon Pediatric Nutrition Consultants, she has extensive experience in working with children on weight issues.

See her website: www.centraloregonnutrition.com contact Lori via Bitwine for Online Nutrition Consultation http://nutrition.bitwine.com/users/lbrizee

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over 8 years ago
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over 8 years ago
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over 8 years ago

hellow mr. alan chan how are you?i am wlington from USA and i like your forum of discussing on kids i have a lot of information on this topis.a little bit information i will share with if you like it i will send you further,read it ,Although the causes of pediatric overweight are many and the levels of intervention required to prevent overweight in children extend from the child’s immediate environment to the larger societal level, one critical intervention target is the parent. Scientific evidence points to specific dietary and physical activity/inactivity behaviors that families can adopt to encourage healthful weight status. Dietary recommendations include providing children with ample access to nutrient-dense foods and beverages and high-fiber foods, both at meals and snack times, reducing children’s access to high-calorie, nutrient-poor beverages and foods both when eating at home and at restaurants, avoiding excessive food restriction or use of food as a reward, and encouraging children to eat breakfast on a daily basis. Physical activity recommendations include providing opportunities and encouragement for children to be physically active while reducing children’s television and video game time. Parental modeling of healthful eating and physical activity practices is recommended to reinforce these patterns in youth. Dietetics professionals, physicians, and other health care professionals can assist parents in their efforts to prevent pediatric overweight by providing information and supporting these key behaviors, while working to create environments that support healthful lifestyle changes,

________ [url=http://www.cramguides.com/exam/70-290.htm]exam 70-290[/url]

over 8 years ago

hellow mr. alan chan how are you?i am wlington from USA and i like your forum of discussing on kids i have a lot of information on this topis.a little bit information i will share with if you like it i will send you further,read it ,Although the causes of pediatric overweight are many and the levels of intervention required to prevent overweight in children extend from the child’s immediate environment to the larger societal level, one critical intervention target is the parent. Scientific evidence points to specific dietary and physical activity/inactivity behaviors that families can adopt to encourage healthful weight status. Dietary recommendations include providing children with ample access to nutrient-dense foods and beverages and high-fiber foods, both at meals and snack times, reducing children’s access to high-calorie, nutrient-poor beverages and foods both when eating at home and at restaurants, avoiding excessive food restriction or use of food as a reward, and encouraging children to eat breakfast on a daily basis.exam 70-290 Physical activity recommendations include providing opportunities and encouragement for children to be physically active while reducing children’s television and video game time. Parental modeling of healthful eating and physical activity practices is recommended to reinforce these patterns in youth. Dietetics professionals, physicians, and other health care professionals can assist parents in their efforts to prevent pediatric overweight by providing information and supporting these key behaviors, while working to create environments that support healthful lifestyle changes,

over 8 years ago