Pre-school Obesity

exerciseFrom Your Health Journal…..”A great article from My San Antonio written by Jessica Belasco about pre-school obesity. Obesity is on the rise all over the world, affecting adults and children. So many children face obese related illness such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, asthma, weak joints, and heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, high triglycerides, high insulin). There are many contributors to this epidemic, including large amounts of sedentary time – homework, technology….as well as poor dietary habits. According to a new report, public health officials are worrying about excessive weight gain in the first months and years of life. More than 20 percent of children between ages 2 and 5 already are overweight or obese. Not much research has been done in helping these young children reduce the obesity problem, as much of the attention goes to older children and adults. In San Antonio, health officials believe that interventions among minority preschool children can help them develop more healthful habits. So many of these pre-schoolers eating habits are established at such a young age, which is where working with parents is essential. Please visit the My SA web site (link provided below) to read the complete artilce.”

From the article…..

Parents fall in love with chubby-cheeked infants with pudgy thighs. As children grow, their parents encourage them to clean their plates to fuel their development.

But public health officials are worrying about excessive weight gain in the first months and years of life. More than 20 percent of children between ages 2 and 5 already are overweight or obese, according to an Institute of Medicine report released in 2011, and this can set them on a dangerous trajectory toward lifelong obesity. And minority children are at a higher risk.

While mountains of studies have focused on obesity prevention in older children and adults, there hasn’t been as much research looking at young children. But researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio have found that interventions among minority preschool children can help them develop more healthful habits. Their study about a pilot program for preschoolers ran in the journal Childhood Obesity in October.

“So many of their eating habits are established at such a young age that this is where we’re really needing to work with parents and get the parents’ buy-in,” says Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center and a co-author of the study. “In the Latino culture, a healthy baby is a chubby baby. They do gain that cute baby fat, but we’re seeing nowadays so many parents letting them have so much sugared beverages and so forth at such an early age that they kind of become addicted to sweets and salt.”

The goal of the local study, called “Míranos! Look at Us, We Are Healthy!” was to create environments both at school and at home to help kids develop healthful lifestyle habits. The intent was not to promote weight loss, because the kids are growing, but to promote healthy weight gain.

The results were positive: Kids who received the intervention showed increases in outdoor physical activity and consumption of fruit, vegetables and low-fat milk, as well as higher gains of gross motor skills, compared to the kids who did not receive the intervention. They were more willing to drink water. And the intervention controlled their weight gain.

To read the complete article…..Click here

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