Everyone knows that as a country, the United States has a weight problem. If we wanted further proof of this, the American Medical Association has now classified obesity as a disease.
Over 1/3 of adults are considered to be obese, and 17% of children and teens (there are three times as many obese children as there were in 1980).
The medical costs associated with this were up to $147 billion in 2008, according to U.S. News and World Reports
With costs continuing to rise, you can be sure it is more than that today!
It is particularly concerning that there are so many young people that are overweight. What can be done to start decreasing those numbers?
A recent study by the University of Minnesota says that the best results will not be realized by having their parents talk to them about their weight.
In the study, 2800 you people were asked about their eating behaviors, and when their mothers talked to them about their weight they were 64% more likely to try dieting or unhealthy weight loss tactics than those whose moms simply talked to them about healthy eating (40%).
This really doesn’t prove that children who have had discussions about weight with their parents actually pursue these unhealthy behaviors as a result – there are many other factors that were not looked at as part of this study.
But doesn’t it make more sense to provide a good role model for our children by eating healthy food as a rule? That doesn’t mean never having chocolate cake again, but following a good nutritional eating plan most of the time provides a good example for them to follow.
Not having a lot of junk food in the house also makes it easier for them to not down that bag of chips!
There are so many really tasty, healthy meals that we can serve our children. Most of us are busy and don’t have a lot of time to cook, but meals during the week do not have to be elaborate. With some planning you can have what you need on hands, and the meal doesn’t have to take hours to fix.
Making sure your children understand what is healthy, and providing ways for them to eat healthy food regularly, works much better to help them become healthy-weight adults than shaming them by talking about their weight.
Image by Walter Siegmund, used under the GNU Free Documentation License.