What Causes Childhood Obesity? – Part 3

As many of my regular viewers to this web blog know, there are many factors contributing to childhood obesity. I post daily here about it, whether news print articles, opinions, feedback, or just personal opinion.

Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo! (click here) about childhood obesity. I started searching for sources for this article, and received over 100 responses to the question, “What do you think caused the rise in childhood obesity?” Responses came from professional and Olympic athletes, fitness experts, health experts, nutritionist, and parents.

I was unable to use everyone’s feedback, but thought it would be great to post some of their responses on my blog in a new web series, “What Causes Childhood Obesity.” I hope that you enjoy the opinions here from various individuals. Please remember, my including their posts does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse their opinion, rather, a place to share other people’s thoughts.

Keeping Kids Fit

Opinion: Peter Vash, M.D.

Children today are overall less active than those in previous generations because technology has become part of our everyday lives. Children spend more time watching television & playing video games. These activites are
also often paired with the habit of eating high-calorie snacks, like cookies or chips. The types and amounts of foods kids eat also contribute to weight gain. There is an astonishing variety of readily available (such as vending machines and at the corner gas station) foods that tend to be large or multiple in portions (it’s common for a highly-sweetened fruit drink or iced tea, for example, to be sold in a bottle containing more than two servings). These foods are also often high in fat, low in fiber, and high in sugar.

A great way to help your child become more lean is by being a positive role model, teaching by example about how to eat better and move more. Offer your child loving, positive support while you take on a healthier lifestyle
together. Pointing out poor habits or making ultimatums for weight loss aren’t positive or effective ways to teach a child healthier lifestyle choices.

The main key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is incorporating good nutrition and physical activity into the family’s everyday life. Here are a few guidelines and first steps to take toward guiding your child to a healthier lifestyle.

• Avoid using the word “obese” when referring to your child’s weight; it can negatively impact how they think about themselves.

• Include the entire family in a healthier lifestyle—not just the overweight child. – Go on walks, bike rides or hikes as a family. Focus on having fun and on getting healthier—not on losing weight—during these new
activities.

• Involve children in preparing meals; it’s fun for them as well as a great way for them to learn about healthy cooking.

• Take a look at the role food plays in the family. Try to avoid giving it as a reward, or restricting it as a punishment.

• Set aside enough time to eat together without rushing; this will help the family enjoy the food and to feel more full—and satisfied—afterward.

Information from diet expert Peter Vash, M.D., medical director of Lindora & board-certified internist specializing in endocrinology and metabolism with an emphasis on obesity and eating disorders

The Role Model In You – Laurie Towers, CEO Of Physical Advantage

Role Model

Laurie Towers


As part of my new web series, The Role Model In You, here is my most recent interview. The Role Model In You series discusses how individuals were influenced as a child to lead a healthy lifestyle. It covers who influenced these individuals, the changes they made in their life to be healthy, and the message they would like to convey to the youth of today. Our guests include doctors, soccer stars, Super Bowl champions, NBA players, Olympic gold medalist, entrepreneurs, celebrities, and just regular people looking to share their story. I hope you enjoy it!

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Laurie Towers age 49 and CEO of Physical Advantage and The Bridal Body Shop

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

It was definitely my mother who was a trailblazer as far her thoughts on nutrition and exercise were concerned.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

It was a clear case of living by example. everyday the kitchen chair would make its appearance into the living room as we joined Jack LaLanne and “Snowy” begin another half hour of healthy living with exercise.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

I don’t know if I would use the word change or that it was just a seamless evolving of my philosophies.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

Always. Its done in the same way that my mom conveyed it to me. without preaching or hard selling. just allowing the example to set itself and let a natural progression or choice happen. My business The Bridal Body Shop was inspired by my feelings that fitness should not be just about getting ready for a specific occasion but for a lifetime. We teach brides to get in shape for the wedding and beyond. Our tag is “Its a dress for a day, but its your body for a lifetime” and we totally and whole heartedly believe that.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

To embrace a marriage of eating well and exercising with the same dedication that you brush your teeth.You would never consider a day where you didnt set aside a block of for brushing, and exercise should be the same thing.

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

www.thebridalbodyshop