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If parents see their kids as overweight, they’re more likely to be so


“One way health programs today are trying to reduce the growing problem of childhood obesity in the United States is by making parents aware that their child is overweight. The thinking is they can take steps to help their child eat more healthily and exercise more. But a new study has turned that thinking on its head. Researchers found that young children were actually more likely to gain weight during childhood if their parents thought they were overweight…Angelina R. Sutin, who led the research, believes the reason behind this could be that parents who thought their children were overweight, regardless of whether they actually were, could have been limiting how much their kids ate and the kids could have rebelled by eating more. Alternatively, these parents may have shamed their children about their weight, which could have led them to overeat or avoid physical activity. Neither possibility could be tested with the data available from the Australian study, Sutin added.”(more)

Physically Unfit Teens More Prone To Develop Type 2 Diabetes

Chronicle Council – Adam Martin

“Scientists from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that lack of fitness in teen years is strongly associated with a high risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes later in life. Study authors also found that the risk was similar in all participants regardless of their weight. The study revealed a link between poor muscle strength and physical fitness in youth and an above average risk of developing diabetes in adulthood.”(more)

Parenting Styles Can Affect Child’s Weight And Health, According To New Study

Youth Health – Ji Hyun Joo

“The causes of child obesity have been studied and analyzed throughout the years, with genetics, poverty and limited access to health foods making it onto the list…A new study published in the journal Preventive Medicine suggests that parenting style can also affect a child’s weight and health…Results of the study reportedly showed that preschool and school-level kids born to authoritarian parents were 35 to 41 percent more likely to be obese than those with authoritative ones. There was reportedly a 44 percent and 26 percent increased obesity risk among children with authoritarian and negligent parents.”(more)

When it comes to children’s ability to think, weight and activity level both matter, study finds

EurekAlert! – Public Release

“Weight and physical activity levels are both factors in a child’s ability to acquire and use knowledge, a new study finds. “The question this paper asks that has not been asked before is whether it is just fitness that influences children’s cognition,” said Dr. Catherine Davis, clinical health psychologist at the Georgia Prevention Institute at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. “What we found is weight and physical activity both matter.”…When researchers used the well-verified Cognitive Assessment System, the advantages continued to hold. For example, comparing the active, healthy-weight group with the overweight, inactive children, the active group scored nine points higher for planning – things such as figuring out and carrying out a strategy and using knowledge – and eight points higher for their ability to pay attention…The good news is that children, with the help of their families and schools, have time to make healthy lifestyle changes that will modify their weight trajectory, Davis said.”(more)

Why Teens Should Know Their BMI

U.S. News & World Report – Marc Michalsky, M.D.

“As a physician, I encourage parents to know their teen’s BMI, or body mass index.​ Although BMI is by no means a perfect measure of one’s health, it’s generally considered a reliable way to determine how much body fat a person has based on their age, sex, height and weight. In addition to being used as a way to highlight possible risks for a number of serious medical conditions, BMI can also be a predictor of whether or not a child will become an overweight or obese adult. Once parents determine their adolescent’s BMI, they and their child can establish an open dialogue with the pediatrician or family physician to establish healthy weight goals and recommendations…Teens can take simple steps toward maintaining a healthier lifestyle by doing the following:”(more)