Physicians with normal BMI more likely to diagnose, discuss obesity

Children's Health, General Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
Color me "stunned" by this report: The Baltimore Sun "Picture of Health" blog reports a study in the journal Obesity suggesting that "physicians with a normal body mass index were more likely than overweight doctors to engage their obese patients in weight loss discussions." The Sun goes on to say, "Normal weight doctors were also more likely to diagnose a patient as obese if they perceived the patient's BMI was equal to or larger than their own." The work was funded by in part by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The Los Angeles Times "Booster Shots" blog reports, "In one of the most stunning figures in the paper ... the probability that a normal-weight doctor actually recording an obesity diagnosis for an obese patient was 93%.” For overweight…
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Why does TV viewing lead to obesity in children? Turns out there are several reasons

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
Obesity experts have been saying for over a decade that children who sit in front of the TV screen day in and day out tend to be heavier. However, experts are finding it's not only the couch potato effect, but the television ads children are watching, along with other factors that can add inches to their waistlines. (more…)
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Pediatrics group urges lawmakers to ban childhood obesity “media diet”

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
Childhood obesity has become an epidemic in America – with 17 percent of children aged 2 to 19 obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics "has a new suggestion: ban companies from advertising junk food during children's television programs." (more…)
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Life expectancy has fallen in hundreds of US counties

Children's Health, Obesity, Parenting
In my 2005 book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I published this the then shocking statement, "If we don’t get a handle on (childhood obesity), this generation of kids coming up will have a shorter life span than their parents. That’s scandalous!” Now, we're seeing some data indicating this unfortunate prediction may indeed be happening. (more…)
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How (and why) to increase the number of family meals at home

Children's Health, Marriage and Family Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
Family meals have long been an American tradition. During the past several decades, however, the American family has undergone radical changes—and family meals have changed at the same time. And as family meals have decreased, so has the physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual health of our children. (more…)
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Finally, some schools sending parents BMI figures

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
On its website, WFLD-TV Chicago reports students "at some schools across the country will be adding another test to their agendas: One that measures their body mass index" (BMI) as "school officials are taking a stand against childhood obesity." "Finally!" is all I can say! However, you don't just want your child's BMI ..  you also need to know their BMI percentile AND their blood pressure percentile. Here's how you can find out this critical information and why you need to know: (more…)
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Obesity has cut three to four years from US life expectancy

General Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity
In my book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I predicted that if the current obesity epidemic was not dealt with, that our children could become the first in American history to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Why? Because kids who are overweight or obese can have their life shortened by eight to twenty years by a plethora of obesity-related illnesses, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and strokes). Now USA Today reports, "Smoking, a declining habit, and obesity, a burgeoning problem, have cut three to four years off the increasing life expectancy of Americans, an international longevity comparison concludes." (more…)
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Giving baby solid foods too early linked to obesity

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
Here's another reason to consider breast feeding you baby ... babies who are formula-fed and introduced to solid foods before they are 4 months old are more likely to be obese when they are three years old, researchers report. However, the timing of solid foods didn't increase the odds of becoming obese in youngsters who were breast-fed. Here are the details from HealthDay News: (more…)
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Insufficient, irregular sleep associated with childhood obesity

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
In my book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I made the then startling claim that childhood obesity was associated with a lack of sleep. And, in a clinical study, we showed that families who make wise nutrition choices, activity choices, AND increase the amount of sleep children get, can prevent or treat childhood obesity. Since the publication of the book, study after study (many reviewed in this blog) have demonstrated the association between poor sleep or inadequate sleep and childhood obesity. Now, a new study suggests that sleeping in on the weekend may help children fight obesity. Here are some details from HealthDay News: Too little sleep puts kids at risk of obesity and other health conditions, but "catch-up" sleep on weekends and holidays can mitigate…
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First Lady, Wal-Mart to fight childhood obesity

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
Here's a shout out to Mrs. Obama. News reports say that the First Lady and Wal-Mart have forged an agreement geared at preventing childhood obesity. Media sources generally characterized the move as a victory for Mrs. Obama's signature campaign and I would agree. ABC World News reported, First Lady Michelle Obama "announced that Wal-Mart, which sells more groceries than any market in America, is going to change what's on its shelves." On the CBS Evening News the First Lady was shown saying, "I am thrilled about Wal-Mart's new nutrition charter." NBC Nightly News said that Mrs. Obama "has announced she's working with the nation's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, which promised today to cut prices on fresh fruits and vegetables and to reduce fats, sugars, salt, eliminate transfats in some of its…
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Girls who walk/bike to school do better in tests

Children's Health, Parenting
In my book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I explain that schools that have cut back on recess and physical education have seen the kids' test scores fall. Likewise, those schools that have kept or even increased exercise, especially among boys, find that the kids learn better and not only improve grades on their report cards but have improved scores on standardized tests. Now a new study of teens living in Spanish cities is showing that girls who walk or bike to school instead of getting a ride perform better in tests of verbal and math skills. And the longer the commute, the higher the test scores, regardless of how much exercise girls got outside of school. Still, it's unclear whether the commute itself matters,…
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Adolescent obesity associated with risk of severe obesity in adulthood

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
Like many physicians who care for children and teens, I'm acutely aware of and concerned about the epidemic, the tsunami, of childhood overweight and obesity. Because of that, I headed a research project at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Florida, that resulted in the book SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat. The book is currently on sale in HARDCOVER for $4.99 here (save $18) and in SOFTCOVER for $1.99 here (save $11). If you have children or teens who are overweight, NOW is the time to make some changes. And, my book has an 8-week plan your family can put into action to start the New Year. The reason to do so is that to NOT act is to doom your kids to a shorter life…
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