Minggu, 05 Juli 2015

The Dangers of Childhood Obesity

The Dangers of Childhood Obesity

It's hard to open a newspaper or turn on the TV news these days without
seeing an item about how unhealthy our kids are. The percentage of
children who are seriously overweight, going on obese, has soared in
every western country in the last few years. And in every country where
income per head has risen significantly in that time, it's a major

The Dangers of Childhood Obesity

Should we care about childhood obesity?

The number one reason to think that we should care if our children
are overweight, and try to change the situation, is that an obese
child has a 70% greater risk of becoming an overweight adult,and the
risk is closer to 80% if one parent is obese. Other physical dangers

Type II diabetes
Heart disease
Joint problems -- overweight people are more likely to get defects in load-bearing limbs
Raised blood pressure and cholesterol
Sleep disruption
Breathing problems
But the dangers are not just to physical health. I bet you can
remember a fat child in your class at school, and how much the poor kid
was teased. And even now, with more overweight children around, there
are still some serious psychological dangers with childhood obesity:
Low self-esteem
Lack of self-confidence, which sometimes shows as apparent over- confidence -- it's all too easy for an overweight child to become the self-selected class jester, hiding their hurt behind a mask of buffoonery.
Signs that a child is obese or at risk
Physical measurements are, of course, a good guide. From your child's
weight, height and age, you can measure the Body Mass Index(BMI), and
use published charts to check whether this is within the normal range.
But other factors come into play as well, especially in preventing
obesity in the first place:

Family history of obesity -- which often means that the whole family eats the wrong food and takes too little exercise, thus putting at risk children who are not yet obese
Unusual self-consciousness when undressed, perhaps in a swimming pool or public showers
Too much sitting about in front of the TV, computer or video games, with little or no physical activity
High sugar intake, especially in sweets and candy and rich cakes -- this is really hard to combat in a society in which almost all processed food contains added sugar
Eating very little fruit and few vegetables -- well, not many kids like their greens, but if they also push away the fruit bowl they are really at risk, not just of obesity but of all kinds of physical problems
Snacking all the time between meals, partly because this makes it less likely that the child will eat nourishing meals at the regular times, but also because almost all snacks are high in fat and carbohydrate (often in the form of sugar) and low in protein
How Can We Help Our Children To Be Healthy?
That's the subject of a book all by itself, and indeed I'd recommend
reading Kris Kerr's book
Childhood Obesity: how to prevent it, how to deal with it [http://www.capespear.info/childhoodobesity/]
to find out more both about the ways to see if your child is at risk and how to
deal with the problem. The areas you most need to worry about are:

Diet -- eating good, nutritious foods, avoiding eating unhealthy food, a sensible eating regime
Exercise, and how to get your family to take enough!
Self-belief and self-confidence -- how to deal with the low self-esteem of many children who are already overweight, especially while you try to get their weight down and their exercise levels up
In the book, you'll find a ton of ideas to help you solve these
problems, and where to get professional help if you need it. It's worth
it to have healthy, happy children!
But don't delay. Every day you wait to get started is another day
of danger for your kids. You owe it to them -- start NOW to combat
childhood obesity and give your kids the future they deserve.

Kathy Lang of Cape Spear Press has published nine books and hundreds of articles. She emphasises health problems that worsen as we age, and the concerns of families from grandparents to grandchildren. Having once been 40 pounds heavier, she has great sympathy for obese and overweight kids and adults. Childhood Obesity: how to prevent it, how to deal with it [http://www.capespear.info/childhoodobesity/] can help your child, and also see Kathy's web site AZ Health Answers [http://www.az-healthanswers.com]

Childhood Obesity Prevention Lesson Plans

Unit: Healthy Living
Title of lesson plan: Childhood Obesity
Grade level: 9th grade
Teacher: Paris Williams
Duration: 60 minutes
State learning standards: 22.A.3a Identify and describe ways to reduce health risks common to adolescents (e.g., exercise, diet, refusal of harmful substances).

Childhood Obesity Prevention Lesson Plans


  • To educate students about the health risk associated with childhood obesity.
  • To teach students how to make healthy food choices and how to stay physically fit.
  • Materials/Preparation:
  • 2 handouts that make students aware of the unhealthy food and activity choices they make.
  • Power point that has facts about childhood obesity, short and long term effects of childhood obesity, and how to prevent childhood obesity.
  • Multiple choice quiz.


Introduce yourself and briefly explain what they will be learning today.

  • Minutes 1-5: Handout worksheets that I left in the folder on my desk. Have students fill out a handout that gives them choices to make between different foods, one unhealthy and the other healthy, and different activities, one active and the other inactive and collect them.
  • Minutes 6-20: Open the power point titled childhood obesity that is located on the flash drive in the top drawer of my desk. Show students power point that has these facts about childhood obesity.

  1. Childhood obesity has doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in last 30 years.
  2. More than one third of children and adolescents were considered obese in 2010.
  3. Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height.
  4. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat.
  5. Ask students to come up with reasons why children and adolescents are more obese now.

Minutes 21-35: Show students the next part of power point that talks about short and long term health risks associated with childhood obesity.

1. Short term effects

  • Children and adolescents are more likely to have high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
  • They are at high risk for diabetes.
  • More likely to have psychological problems and low self-esteem.
  • Bone and joint problems.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Asthma.

2. Long-term effects:

  • More likely to be obese adults.
  • Associated with increased risk for many types of cancer.
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Menstrual irregularity and infertility for women.
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression

Minutes 36-40: Stop power point and give students another copy of the same handout, which is located in the same folder, that they received at the beginning of class to see if their answers changed after hearing the health risk associated with childhood obesity.
Minutes 41-55: Return to power point to talk about how to prevent childhood obesity.

  • Eating healthier
  • Staying physically active for at least an hour a day.
  • Stop rewarding children with unhealthy food.
  • Stop forcing children to “clean plate” after they are full.
  • Pack healthy school lunches.

Minutes 56-60: Give students quiz, located in the same folder as the handouts, that shows what they learned.

Collect quizzes and dismiss students at the bell. If in case they finish early instruct them to read the next chapter in their textbooks quietly.

resource : https://sites.google.com/site/healthyhighschoolers/lesson-2-childhood-obesity

Sabtu, 04 Juli 2015

Weight Loss For Childhood Obesity - How Kids and Teens Can Conquer Their Weight

Childhood obesity is becoming the biggest epidemic for kids and teens in the world. Kids and teens who are over weight usually do not have the right knowledge to how to carry on the best lifestyle possible. They do not know the bad effects of certain foods even though they may assume its healthy. They do not know the bad effects of sitting for hours long end in front of a television, video game or computer. They do not know the true benefits of certain raw natural foods such as fruits and vegetables. Sure you might of heard that fruits and vegetables are good for you but only those who truly know act upon it. The thing is, every person needs a teacher, or a source to attain knowledge about certain things they want to know, so by you reading this I presume you want some answers, good ones too. Okay, I shall give them to you. But your job is to take them, act upon them and be persistent. Try to develop a true sense of your problem, whether your the parent who wants a solution for your kids over weight scare or you are the kid or teenager who wants the solution for your own self, try to truly understand and define your issue as to what it is. Once you realize the reality of your condition, I want you to ask your self "what will I do about it". Yes, say it again and again and think about it hard, and keep repeating it, what will you really do about it.

Weight Loss For Childhood Obesity - How Kids and Teens Can Conquer Their Weight

Yes, do you finally realize that the ferry God-mother is not going to stop by your house any time soon and wave her magic wand for you. Or are you searching for the magic genie. You have to understand that losing weight is not going to happen instantly like magic, and realize that if you ignore yourself then one day it can back fire. Childhood obesity is more serious then you think. Premature weight gain is now becoming the largest cause of premature deaths especially for teens. Researches have found in a study of 80 over weight students 'middle-aged' arteries in which some of them were just as young as twelve years of age. Are you realizing it better yet. You must take action now, have some determination to get you going, stay motivated, be strong and address the your weight now.

Your Ultimate Weight Loss Plan

As I said, I shall give you answers. Whether your the parent of an obese child or you are the child or teen whose reading this and your trying to over come your weight, let me first tell you that it's not your fault. But it will be your fault when you find answers and solutions but you just do nothing about it. I want you to set a goal for your self and I want you to set it now. If you already set it long before then that's great, which is probably why you found this page, but you most likely don't know how to reach that goal, which is what I'm going to teach you. Yes, I will teach you how to achieve that goal. I know you probably expected me to give you some easy weight loss techniques (which I will present to you at the end of this page), but whats the point if you don't know how to use what you know to achieve your ultimate goal. What I'm going to teach you is very valuable especially if you want to start losing weight from today. If you truly want to start shedding pounds for you or your child, the key is stay persistent in your initiative plan to receive the expected results. So how do we do that? I want you to bookmark this page to your browser, and read slowly and carefully my friend.

First I want you to determine and visualize what you want. Don't just think you want it, know your goal.

After you have thought about it, write it down on paper and stick it where you can see it everyday so you do not forget your real aim.

I now want you to over come your fear of failure; don't fear failure, over come it with faith in yourself or fear will paralyze you.

Now believe in yourself; you must believe in your self and believe that you can do it and that you will achieve results. If you fail to believe in your self then you will feel hopeless and not even try, and then you end up quitting before you even tried, so make sure you believe you can do it.

Now make a list of every possible thing you need or have to do to achieve your weight loss goal.

Now I want you to set a deadline to motivate yourself to take action.

Now I want you to take action every day seven days a week, not 3, 4, or 5 days, working towards your goal each day is the biggest key to finding results.

Next, think about every step you take in your day, is it taken you towards the direction of your goal or is it taken you away from your goal.

Now I want you to delete negative people; stay away from people who tell you that you can't do it or make you feel that achieving certain things is not realistic, instead find those who are already where you want to be.

Now I want you to expect optical challenges that may come your way while your on the road to losing weight and visualize that you will keep going when they come. This is because in case challenges do come your way, you will not allow them to slow you down or stop you because you already planned for them.

Now don't let failure defeat you! You might have times where you crash down...so what! Don't quit...keep going, keep reminding yourself of what your goal is and don't let any break downs slow you down.

And finally, determine the price for achieving your overall results and then pay the price and get busy.

Obesity is no thing to wait on, so you must learn to set yourself on the right road by following these valuable steps first that I just gave you. Now fight and don't stop fighting. Tell your self that I'm going to lose weight because I choose to, I'm not just going to lose weight but I'm going to get firmed and toned too, I'm going to be like those super models on T.V. and I'm going to do it because that's who I choose to become. And now your a goal setter, not a goal hoper.

Jumat, 03 Juli 2015

Childhood Obesity Prevention Guide

Childhood obesity is a concern in America and this guide is to help anyone who needs information about how to help prevent or reverse this epidemic. Yes, I did say help a child. This isn't just an act or a mission on my part; this is a chance to help every kid that may be suffering from obesity. Children need your help, no matter if you are a mom, dad, brother or sister. No matter who you are to this child you wish to help, you will be making the biggest difference in their life. Why? Simply because you could be saving a life.

Childhood Obesity Prevention Guide

I say this because being overweight can lead to serious medical diseases such as, heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, cardiovascular disease and so much more. Along with these physical side effects, psychological damage can occur by being obese as a child as well. I say this because as a child you are sensitive to so many things. If a bully makes fun of you in school, a child gets hurt. If a child can't play a certain sport because of his or her weight, that can lead to depression and lifelong issues. There are many other examples I can give but I think you get the point.

The main cause of childhood obesity is simply lifestyle. Life as we know it has so many easy benefits. We "drive" to work, we can sit and relax playing Xbox, we can literally "eat" all the time, and we don't even have to "cook" half the food we eat! What a difference from even 20-50 years ago. The lack of activity and unhealthy food has made our nation obese. Instead of walking, we drive. Instead of cooking our healthy meals, we eat out. Instead of playing outside, children get wrapped up in video games for HOURS a night!

Let me explain something to you right now that will help you understand weight loss in general.

For someone to lose weight, a person must burn more calories than they consume. This is simple in theory, but the same holds true. You must keep your body active and burn those calories. For long lasting weight loss, there is a lot more included but for now we just need to understand this concept.

Do you see why America's children are obese? Everything aspect of life is passive and inactive as I explained above. WE need to stop this from occurring and get our children active and healthy.

Why? This isn't only about what a child looks or moves like. It's all about the health of the child. Along with all the diseases I mentioned above, it can lead to a long lifestyle of being unhealthy. An obese child will most likely continue being obese as they grow up. Look at your schoolmates when you were in school. Have you seen any of them recently? Not to pick on any of your schoolmates, but remember those obese classmates? Are they still obese? Case closed. Now some of them may have lost weight and that's awesome but more than likely they haven't. Remember I am not picking on anybody just showing an example of what can happen. Maybe you were that classmate? If you were, I am so happy you are reading this.

The reason why this happens to children and adults is lack of education. Within families sometimes, things are not known, as in the benefits of eating well. I don't ever remember learning how to lose weight properly in school or how to maintain a healthy weight. Do you? Was there a class called, "living healthy?" I don't think there was. So where does this education come from and how can someone obtain this information? Well there are many great sources out there. I am a personal trainer so of course I know a personal trainer is a great way to go, but there are other resources. At any doctors office there is free paperwork on these topics. The main point though that I am trying to stress is that people just don't know about this type of education or see the need for it!

A popular saying that many parents use is, "You must eat everything on your plate, because there are starving children who aren't as lucky to have food as you are!" Have you heard that before? This common saying does nothing but damage; it instills in our children the need to eat everything, all of the time. What this saying is doing is making our children sick and obese. I know some of you reading this may be rolling your eyes. And I understand, we are all trained to eat everything on our plates. The older folk seem to be more prone to this! Look at the plate sizes at restaurants nowadays. HOLY CRAP! Do you really think that saying is as applicable currently as it was in the past? No, portion control is key!

Why not just simply serve less on your plate? Would that help with obesity issues? Heck yes it would! This is just one topic that needs to be covered with our nation's children; a serving size is the size of a closed fist, not the size of a bowling ball.

Education is huge when it comes to succeeding at anything. By far the most important step is realizing that something is wrong, and that step can only happen once we are informed. Reading this article may be the most important thing for yourself and your family. This may prevent thousands of dollars of hospital bills due to obesity. This may prevent another recession, due to obese individuals costing 6 times more than a healthy person in the medical field. A recent study showed that if we don't change our ways now, by 2030, we will be facing another recession because of obese people. Think about it. This is scary and this can really back fire on America and our children. Every French fry that is ate, every soda drank, and every video game played instead of exercising and moving around is taking us one step closer to this epidemic.

You have taken the first steps to helping our children out just by reading this. You are getting informed and you are going to learn some simple things you can do to help your kids or grandkids out. Heck even help the neighbor boy out!

I am not writing this in a step by step process. Nor am I writing down tips and tricks. I am going to tell you lifestyle changes that must be made to fix this situation. Lifestyle changes must be made to ensure a continued effort at success is always in progress.

Here is a Child's Success System that works. This system I am about to share with you will cover the needed areas to make this change happen. Now, I can't explain everything that's included with this process but a basic overview will help you get started.

Its called the "4 Pillars to Success." It takes four very important training methods and puts them into one program, leaving you with the only option, success! I will be aiming everything towards how to help fix childhood obesity problems and what you can do to help a child.

4 Pillars to Success

"The Fat Loss System That Works Every Time"

Pillar #1: Exercise

This may be a no brainer, but my questions is that why don't more people exercise? Everyone knows about exercise and its benefits. Why isn't it happening more frequently? Children need to exercise, but it's not the weight pumping, treadmill running type of exercise that I am talking about. I certainly will not recommend an eight year old to run on the treadmill for 45 minutes 4 days a week. I am talking about just physical activity and teaching them about exercise and its benefits. If I child doesn't know about exercise, whose fault is it that then if the child doesn't exercise? Teach them that it helps with proper growth and it's important to implement in their life. I am not talking about sitting a eight year old child down and explaining to him what a bench press exercise is, but instead telling him/her that it's better to ride their bike than ride in a car.

Most kids learn by example and they copy others. The question is: Are you exercising and showing a good example? If a child sees you exercising and making healthy choices in life, they will to. They want to be like mom and dad! When they are old enough it's smart to just "talk" to them about it. For example "Billy (8 year old boy) how about you come to the gym with me today and let's do some swimming?" This is perfect because they see you exercising and will want to as well. It will be a family event!

Educate and lead by example, demonstrate your passion for health and activity. If you aren't passionate about it, GET PASSIONATE ABOUT IT! As you can see this will help you with your fitness goals as well. This is aimed at children but you can benefit from it as well.

Pillar #2: Nutrition

As I was saying earlier in this guide, children may be eating the wrong foods or too much. I bet you have an idea of what bad food is right? Fast food, pizza, cake, cookies, candy, and Hungry Man meals are all examples. You know what? I am human also, so I like these foods as well. I bet you are thinking to yourself, "Oh boy, he is going to tell me what I can and cannot eat!" But I am not going to do that at all, I'm just going to tell you about nutrition and then let you make up your own mind.

Let me explain one vital thing about food. There isn't a good or bad food. There is only good, better, and best foods. It's all based on nutritional content. You need to look at foods this way so you will always think about nutritional content! If you have to decide between a french fry or an apple which one has more nutritional value? Of course the apple.

Another very important thing to understand is that your body needs nutrients to survive. These nutrients will determine how you feel and look ultimately. Of course genetics come onto play but we will just focus on the things we can control.

So where does this leave us? Children need to be taught to make good food choices. This all starts with you again. Do you see how much of an impact you have on this child's life? Plus, you will look smokin' after you are done; which is an added benefit to helping children with obesity issues.

Having a child help with dinner is a great example of a good teaching opportunity. Or take them shopping and have them pick out something they want. If they pick out a snickers bar, tell them they can have that if they pick out one nutritious food also. Simple. That just taught the child that there is not "bad" food but there is healthier food to choose from as well.

Watching what they eat at schools and other places is just as important. Sometimes children get fussy and want what they want! I have worked with many parents and I hear this all the time, "I make a special meal for the kid and I eat my own meal." Doesn't that sound like a lot of work?

This could be the time to tighten up the stiff upper lip and get them to eat healthy. They will push you around if you let this happen. And believe me I have seen this work, they will give you crap at first but then they will like those veggies they have always hated. In the future they will thank you, trust me they will (even if it's many years down the road)!

Another great idea is that as they age teach them how to pack a healthy lunch for themselves. Who doesn't at some point in time have to pack a lunch? Obviously this is a lifelong technique everyone needs.
Healthy food groups to include in a child's meals should be 100% whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, a good array of vegetables, beans, natural water, and fruits! Some of the "not-so" good food would be processed foods, fried foods, sugary foods, starchy foods, refined grains, artificial ingredients and soda pop!

Pillar #3: Physical Activity

This basically is the same as exercise but it involves a little more planning. What physical activity means is keeping your body moving and active. Sitting on the couch for 5 hours is NOT physical activity even if your arm is moving to reach for the chips. Or if I know you, you will be reaching for an apple now right? See your learning already!

Back to the physical activity, some examples of this are: evening walks around the block, limiting TV watching to only 30 minutes to 1 hour a night, playing outside, etc. Keeping your kids active this way will help them stay in shape and burn calories. Like I said before, you must burn calories. Children are piling on weight because they are eating too much and being sedentary. Keep them moving, teach them good habits and have fun with this.

Pillar #4: Sleep

Children need rest just as much as adults. 7-8 hours of sleep a night should be the ultimate goal. Be sure there are bed times and a wake up times and stick to them. Running your body on low rest will just end in disaster. Hormones get out of whack and your body thinks it's in a stressful environment and it will put on weight. Don't let this happen.

A couple tips for improving sleep would be:

-Avoid stimulants before bed
-Create a sleeping environment
-Control their naps during the day
-Clear your mind before bed
-Get them to relax 1 hour before bed
-Keep the child's stress to a minimum
-Turn the lights off
-Make sure your sleeping space is comfortable
-Keep track of what they are thinking before bed to track what thoughts keep them up
-Read them a calming book before bed
-Keep the bed for sleep and other related activities

Last Words:

These are the four most important aspects of health. Remember also that a child's happiness is a reflection of how they will act and look like. Through these four pillars, the child will be bound to be happy! As you can see you are a very important piece of the puzzle. Whether you are a parents, grandparent, friend, cousin, brother or sister, you now have the responsibility to help out and do your part in helping a child out. Remember it all comes down to the nurture of the child. Don't fall for the common mistake of thinking, "I was just born fat." That obviously isn't what it's about. As you can see now it's the lifestyle they are taught, and hopefully will pursue the healthiest of lifestyles in their future.

Kamis, 02 Juli 2015

Two Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs That Have Actually Been Proven to Work

In the wake of the September 19th, 2006 Institute of Medicine report that collectively documents our nation's failure to address the childhood obesity crisis, I'd like to talk about two programs that have actually been proven to work under real life conditions.

Two Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs That Have Actually Been Proven to Work

PE4Life in Naperville, IL

The first, PE4Life, is a well organized, well funded, and scientifically documented project whose model program flourishes at Madison Junior High, School District # 203 in Naperville, IL. PE4Life in Naperville is headed up by Phil Lawler, former physical educator and coach who now serves as the Director of the PE4Life Academy, an affiliated project that's designed to show interested physical educators and educational administrators from around the nation how Madison Junior High's PE4Life program works.

Only Three Percent of Our Kids are Obese...

In School District # 203 only 3% of their students are obese. Compare that to over 15% nationally, and you'll see why decision makers from around the nation are flocking to Lawler's PE4Life Academy to find out what he knows that the rest don't know. "We've trained people from forty different states and five foreign countries," observed Lawler. "I'd say that's a pretty good indicator of the interest levels in this program, wouldn't you agree?"

Corporate Sponsors

PE4Life can boast of corporate sponsors including companies like Reebok, Asics, Gatorade, Quaker Oats, Life Fitness, and Dick's Sporting Goods just to name a few. And anyone visiting Madison Junior High will be blown away by the cutting edge training equipment that Lawler has attracted to this program. "In all honesty, there are NFL, NBA, and MLB trainers who would be green with envy if they saw the equipment that we have," Lawler said. "In a very real sense Madison Junior High is the Mecca for kid's fitness in America today."

For Example...

For example, when MJH students hustle in at the end of gym class, it's common to see every student in class placing his or her Polaris heart rate monitor back in its appropriate location before heading off to the showers. "Polaris has graciously provided us with enough heart rate monitors to cover every student in class. And with the help of these devices, our kids learn all about their own cardiovascular system, and how exercise affects it," Lawler said.

Each student works with this kind of equipment several times a week and they learn about fitness in a very hands-on way. "When they graduate from high school they'll have all the info necessary to keep themselves fit for the rest of their life," said Lawler.

The PE4Life curriculum takes its students beyond cardio fitness, venturing into strength development, agility, quickness, and flexibility. So it's not only the high tech, 21st century characteristics that distinguish this unique program apart from almost everything else in the nation. It's the cutting edge comprehensiveness that really makes it stand out.

The PE4Life Academy

There are good reasons why physical educators and educational administrators travel great distances to see, hear, taste, smell, and touch what Lawler's students are doing. And that hands-on informational experience is called the PE4Life Academy.

"I get calls from some of the top professors in some of America's top colleges and universities who come from various parts of the nation in order to see what our kids are doing differently here in District #203. We've worked hard for over a decade to bring this program to life, and I think it's safe to say that our entire community takes pride in what our kids have accomplished. It's one of those things that distinguishes Naperville and makes it such a great place to live."

Much More Than Just a Childhood Obesity Prevention Strategy

I reality PE4Life is much more than just a childhood obesity prevention strategy. It's a fully equipped, fully funded, comprehensive kid's fitness project whose most eloquent claim to fame is that it's been tested under real world circumstances, and it has proven to be effective. And in a world full of hand wringing and theoretical talk, projects that actually work tend to stand out. For a full explanation just Google PE4Life and you'll get all the info you'll want.

Operation Pull Your Own Weight

On the other side of the tracks (literally on the other side of the Mississippi River) sits another childhood obesity prevention program that's also been proven to work. It's called Operation Pull Your Own Weight (OPYOW), and in almost every conceivable way OPYOW is the polar opposite of Naperville's PE4Life.

One Part of an At Risk Grant

OPYOW was developed at Jefferson Elementary School from 1990-1994*, and was originally underwritten by a state of Iowa At-Risk Grant that aimed to improve the self esteem and related performances of the kids who attended Jefferson School.
"OPYOW was the physical component of the self esteem recipe that we were asked to develop," said former Jefferson School Principal Henry Reams. "It was based on the old gym teacher's observation that kids who can do pull ups, can't be obese. So the more Jefferson students who learned to pull their own weight, the fewer we'd have doing battle with obesity and related issues. And as we all know, obesity drags a kids self esteem down faster than anything you can think of," said Reams.

Financing OPYOW With Spare Change

Although the grant covered the salaries and related expenses for four teachers, there was almost no budget for fitness equipment, and certainly no corporate sponsors. So Reams and company drove to the local Farm and Fleet, where with pennies from the spare change drawer they financed all the materials required to build sixteen height adjustable pull up bars (one for every K-2 classroom in school), the only equipment necessary to implement the program.

They asked an Industrial Arts class at Davenport Central High to cut the pipe and chains to the right length, and the district's maintenance department to install one height adjustable pull up bar in every (sixteen) K-2 classroom in school. "I know we spent less than $200 dollars to outfit this entire aspect of the grant. You might say we funded OPYOW on a shoestring, begging, borrowing, and stealing everything we needed to get started. But if you check the results, it's hard to be unimpressed with what our students accomplished," said Reams.

What Were the Results?

So what exactly were the results of OPYOW? Over a four year period, from the fall of 1990 through the spring of 1994 hundreds of Jefferson School students not only developed the ability to do pull ups, but they also learned to look forward to their opportunity to get on the pull up bar and get stronger day after day, week after week, and month after month. "I've known lots of kids who want to be bad, but I've never met one that wants to be weak, in any way. And with OPYOW we taught students how to get strong in all kinds of ways," Reams said.

What Else Did They Learn?

What else did Jefferson kids learn in OPYOW you ask? "Our kids learned that given the opportunity, they could tackle a difficult task by working at it regularly, making thin slices of progress over a period of time, and in the end they learned to expect success," Reams said.
Jefferson's students also learned that there are six things that increase your strength on the pull up bar, including...

  • regular work
  • eating right
  • getting enough rest
  • avoiding tobacco
  • avoiding alcohol
  • avoiding drugs

"Interestingly enough, when these same six strength building principles are applied to academics they make kids stronger in reading, writing, and arithmetic too," Reams added.

Nobody Else Can Do It For You

One other thing Jefferson students learned from working on a pull up bar was that nobody else can do the work for you. "On the pull up bar our students learned that they had to take responsibility for getting their own work done, eating right, getting their rest, and avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. If they failed to do these things, the pull up bar knew immediately and denied the public success that all kids crave. It was a real eye opener," Reams said, "and that may be the single most important thing our kids learned from OPYOW."

OPYOW Shortcomings

What are the shortcomings of OPYOW? "The biggest void in the program was that it was built on the anecdotal observation that kids who can do pull ups can't be obese," said Reams. "In other words, to my knowledge nobody has ever compared the BMI's of kids who can do pull ups against kids who can't do pull ups in order to scientifically prove that they're a legitimate antidote to obesity. By the same token nobody has ever tried to prove that your nose is located on your face either. Maybe both are too intuitively obvious to attract academia," he added.

A second criticism of OPYOW claimed that, by virtue of focusing on one exercise alone, it lacked the comprehensiveness that characterizes all well conceived programs. "But the people who made those claims failed to see that this program never claimed to be comprehensive. Its only claim was that it's a functional antidote to obesity...nothing more, nothing less. If you can do pull ups, you can't be obese. By the same token, to the degree that it successfully discourages obesity, it also reduces the workload on the participant's heart 24/7," Reams said.

What Jefferson School students did prove beyond a shadow of a doubt was that, given the right opportunity, almost all kids can learn to perform pull ups. "And to the degree that the old coach's intuition is true, Operation Pull Your Own Weight is the simplest and most efficient childhood obesity prevention strategy anyone ever devised," Reams added with a smile.

PE4Life Shortcomings?

How about shortcomings in PE4Life? This program has all the scientific documentation that anyone could ever want. They have money. They have equipment. They have nice neighborhoods and well funded schools. They have a comprehensive 21st century fitness strategy that successfully combats obesity. And school districts that have plenty of money should definitely check it out and see if PE4Life is the answer to their problems.

Lawler suggests that the stakes are now so high that we can no longer afford to use the excuse that school districts can't afford a viable obesity prevention program. By the same token there are 45,000,000 people in America today who are unable to afford health insurance, and it does little good to tell them that their lack of money is no excuse. They're still unable to afford health insurance no matter how you spin it. Are school districts any different?

Equipment Dependency VS Free Agency

On the other hand, even if your school district is overflowing with funds, the PE4Life orientation tends to produce students who are dependent on the high tech equipment that the program is built around. In other words, without access to expensive, high tech, 21st century fitness equipment, PE4Life has little to offer.

In contrast OPYOW creates students who are dependent on a ten dollar, doorway pull up bar, or the closest tree limb. You could call it Tom and Huck fitness. Their expressed goal is what they call Free Agency (no dependency), and they claim that it's Mother Nature's antidote to childhood obesity. Now is anyone suddenly feeling a strong desire for a banana?

Beginning of Sidebar

Similarities between PE4Life and OPYOW include...

o Both have succeeded under real life (as opposed to theoretical) conditions

o Both put the responsibility for success in the hands of the student

o Both were developed by guys from Iowa

o Both feature life long lessons that are tucked in between the lines

Differences between PE4Life and OPYOW

o PE4Life was built on empirical data, OPYOW was built on common sense

o PE4Life requires plenty of money, OPYOW can be implemented on a shoestring

o PE4Life requires lots of equipment, OPYOW requires a height adjustable pull up bar

o PE4Life requires extensive training, OPYOW can be taught by any parent volunteer

o PE4Life requires lots of space for equipment, OPYOW requires no extra space

o PE4Life requires several hours per week, OPYOW requires five minutes per week

o PE4Life encourages equipment dependency, OPYOW encourages free agency

o PE4Life requires a "professional setting," OPYOW can easily be taught at home

o PE4Life's strength is its comprehensiveness, OPYOW's strength is its simplicity

o PE4Life is more than obesity prevention, but for OPYOW that's the whole enchilada

o PE4Life is alive and kicking, OPYOW ran out of funding over a decade ago

End of Sidebar

The Choice is Yours

So if you have plenty of money, space, equipment, and time to train your trainers, then PE4Life may be a viable option. On the other hand if your school is short on funds, your teachers are already overloaded to the gills, and you have almost no extra time in your curriculum, then the simplicity of Operation Pull Your Own Weight may be more your cup of tea.

*Despite four years of well documented success, OPYOW has been inactive since the grant ran out in the spring of 1994. But with childhood obesity running rampant, there's a movement afoot to breathe life back into this simple, cost effective, tried and true childhood obesity prevention strategy that's been proven to work. They're in the market for corporate sponsors.

5 Ways The Let's Move Campaign Will End Childhood Obesity

Michelle Obama, First Lady since January 2009, has been putting her time in office to good use. Starting with conversations over a White House garden, she has launched the Let's Move campaign -- taking on the mission of ending childhood obesity in America in one generation. Hardly a modest goal, having all children reach adulthood at a normal weight will take continued, comprehensive action by all sectors of society. To that end, Let's Move addresses parents, children, elected officials, schools, community leaders, and health care providers - every branch of society - to ensure that everyone is doing their part.

5 Ways The Let's Move Campaign Will End Childhood Obesity

Educating about Childhood Obesity

Before anyone will be motivated to take action, they need to understand that there is a reason to do so. The first way Ms. Obama's campaign targets apathy is simply educating the public about the desperate place we are in. Consider these alarming statistics:

The past 30 years have seen a tripling in obese children in America, such that today 1 in 3 minors are overweight (too much weight for height) or obese (too much body fat for height), and, in fact, 1 in 3 Americans. It is estimated that Americans today eat nearly a third more calories per day than they did in 1960, including alarming amounts of fats and sugars. Such a drastic change can't help but damage the body. The risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, asthma, and many other conditions is known to increase with obesity.

We can no longer pretend this is an individual issue. With an epidemic of obesity among our children, we all need to take responsibility for creating a healthier environment. But instead of being overwhelmed by that responsibility, the Let's Move campaign presents clear, achievable steps to make a healthy future possible.

Start Eating Healthy

After educating about the problem, the Let's Move campaign educates the public on the solution. The first step in a healthier lifestyle is figuring out how to eat correctly. The disturbing trends of the last decades stem from radical differences in how we eat and what we eat. Not only are portion sizes out of control, but people are also often ignorant of the quality (or poor quality) of the food they are eating. In short, people don't know what is good for them. And if adults aren't informed, children are even less so. However, information is now more available than ever and it is the parents' and caregivers' responsibility to get informed and pass that information on to the next generation.

The Food and Drug Administration, the government agency that regulates the food industry, requires most prepared food distributors (canned, boxed, bagged) to label their products with the nutritional information label that lists serving size, caloric content, and a wealth of other information. In 2009, Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg announced some new initiatives for the FDA, including sending warning letters to companies that misrepresent their products and working with the food industry to introduce front-of-package labeling that will allow consumers to make healthy choices even more easily.

While labels help families be more informed about the food they consume at home, the fact of the matter is most people eat a large percentage of food outside the house. Whether from restaurants, schools, snack shops, or vending machines, a lot of food does not come packaged with reliable information. But that is no longer an excuse. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's website provides clear and comprehensive information on the new Food Pyramid (updated from the old grains-on-the-bottom model adults may be familiar with), which outlines the components of a balanced day of meals. Unlike the old version, Food Pyramid 2.0 includes the importance of exercise and re-apportions the servings per day for each category of food. That website and hundreds of others that provide information on quality food put making healthy choices well within the reach of all Americans.

Along with educating kids and families on how to eat right, the Let's Move campaign aims to make a tangible difference by helping schools lead the way. With school budgets tight across the nation, more and more junk food has made its way into the public school system and our children's bodies, generally because it is cheap, convenient, and long-lasting. However, when the long-term costs of obesity are factored in (higher health care costs), cutting corners during childhood is no longer a viable option. School administrators and parents need to get involved and change the choices in schools so kids can learn better while they're in school and live better while they're not.

Getting People Active

Along with learning what to put into our bodies, Americans need to learn how to use their bodies to keep them in top form. The USDA claims children and teenagers should get 60 minutes of physical activity daily, while adults should have at least 30 on a regular basis. Most Americans are not living up to those standards, and to some they seem unreachable. However, getting ample exercise into a day is only a matter of priorities. The average American child (8-18) spends 7.5 hours DAILY on entertainment media. The Let's Move campaign means to change that by activating families, schools, and communities.

Each family's schedule and lifestyle are different, so building in more activity will look different in each case. For one family it may be deciding to walk to any place that's less than a mile from home; for another, it might be a family tradition of four-square in the driveway. Opportunities to be active can become fun and build family togetherness. Do jumping jacks in the morning in your PJs, dance around the kitchen to your favorite songs, bike to the park, or see who can swing higher on the swings. Kids love being active, and they love it even more if they get to spend quality time with their parents. But even if you can't get the kid away from a screen, entertainment media has plenty of active options as well. Nintendo's Wii Fit, or the popular Dance Dance Revolution, or even simple YouTube videos like Exercise with Daniel can get children up and active without their even knowing it.

Of course, much of children's days are spent at school, so schools are also responsible for building movement into the schedule, along with educating students on its importance. Making physical education a priority, allowing time for recess, extending and supporting after-school sports, and even incorporating physicality in the academic curriculum are all ways schools can help students be their healthiest selves. There is more research every day that establishes the benefit of movement on learning -- a healthy body makes a healthy brain.

Communities can encourage citizens to live healthy lives by building an infrastructure that supports it. Bike paths, parks, safe routes to and from schools, activity centers, and youth programs make exercise convenient and attractive. Initiatives that make membership on teams cheaper, offer scholarships for athletic involvement, or educate disadvantaged students on opportunities in the area can all have positive impacts on children's lives.

Helping People Take Action

Because change can be overwhelming, Let's Move has outlined " 5 Simple Steps to Success " for every group it seeks to educate: parents, children, elected officials, schools, community leaders, health care providers, and even chefs.

For example, the five steps for chefs are the following:

1) Join Chefs Move to Schools initiative. This step encourages chefs to "adopt" a school and work within it to educate students, families, and administrators about nutritious options and exciting new foods. The Let's Move website helps chefs find schools (and schools chefs) with an interactive searchable map.

2) Take on the HealthierUS School Challenge. Once a school has been adopted, chefs can help schools apply to be a HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSCC) School by meeting various criteria. The USDA: Food and Nutrition Services site outlines the incentives offered to schools that meet the requirements.

3) Learn about child nutrition programs. In order to be effective in adopting a school, chefs can educate themselves about current child nutrition programs and evaluate what can be improved.

4) Prep for the classroom. In coming alongside a school, a chef needs to ask good questions about what the school's goals are and what its current production is. Where is food coming from? What kind of equipment does the kitchen have? Does the menu need an overhaul?

5) Find recipes for success. Recipes for Success are innovative ideas that have worked well. Whether a chef gets them from somewhere else or thinks them up himself, sharing ideas across the country can only help us build healthier schools faster.

Joining People Together

Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign sounds like an amazing idea. But that is all it will ever be if Americans don't take it personally and seriously. To ensure it becomes a movement and not just a motto, there are clear ways to get involved. Along with following the action steps on the action step page, every citizen is invited to take the Let's Move pledge and get email updates, join a Let's Move Meetup regionally to plan activities and strategize locally, and join the partnership for a healthier America, which focuses on mobilizing leadership across sectors to lead the way to health. Anyone can join the conversation on Facebook, as well

The Let's Move campaign is a call to action against childhood obesity that cannot be ignored. In the words of the pledge,

"We believe every kid has the right to a healthy childhood. We can't let this be the first generation in our history to grow up less healthy than their parents. The ingredients...better food + more activity...are clear. Let's Move isn't just noble, it's a necessity. It's not just a slogan, it's our responsibility."

Rabu, 01 Juli 2015

The Increase of Childhood Obesity - Steps We Can Take to Help Our Children Stay Healthy

A grim announcement was made at a recent American Heart Association Conference - nearly a third of children living in the U.S. are overweight, and one-fifth fall into the dangerous category of obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 more than doubled in the past 20 years, going from 6.5% in 1980 to 17.0% in 2006. The rate among adolescents aged 12 to 19 more than tripled, increasing from 5% to 17.6%...An estimated 61% of obese young people have at least one additional risk factor for heart disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure."

The Increase of Childhood Obesity - Steps We Can Take to Help Our Children Stay Healthy

It is no secret that this increase is attributed to poor eating habits and lack of exercise in young people in the U.S. According to the 2007 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey posted on the CDC's Website, unhealthy eating habits are prevalent among teenagers. The study indicates that among U.S. high school students:

o 79% ate fruits and vegetables less than five times per day during the 7 days before the survey.
o 34% drank a can, bottle, or glass of soda or pop (not including diet soda or diet pop) at least one time per day during the 7 days before the survey.

It is likely that the increase in childhood obesity will eventually force our already strained healthcare system to contend with a significant rise in patients with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing problems and sleep disorders in years to come. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, these health conditions are a direct result of complications from obesity.

Pediatricians are warning we must take steps to reduce this growing epidemic. Here are some suggestions - tried-and-true reminders as well as more radical approaches - to help parents steer their children towards healthy eating habits that will stay with them for life:

Whenever possible, eat meals together. Parents have heard this many times, but the benefits of turning off distractions and giving some real time to a meal simply can't be overstated. The benefits, and opportunities to improve eating habits, abound when families engage in regular, sit-down mealtimes:

Parents can really see what goes in, what gets pushed around the plate, and what's altogether avoided.

Parents can model good behavior, from eating vegetables to using appropriate table manners.

Rituals help a family connect, and eating together allows ample opportunity to establish such rituals.

When eating together, try these steps to improve kids' dietary habits:

Get kids involved in the kitchen. When foods and their preparation become more familiar, they stand a better chance to be consumed. Besides, what boy would turn down the chance to use a big knife, if even only to chop carrots?

Try new recipes, or new approaches to old ones. You may only be able (or inspired) to do this once or twice a month, but do so all the same. Sometimes a new presentation is all it takes to make a healthy food appealing. Did you ever hear of the Boy Scout troop that was given a donation of canned minestrone soup for a campout? The leaders were terrified the kids would revolt, until one of them decided to call it "pizza soup." Dinner was an overwhelming success.

Start small - with portion sizes, that is. Kids' appetites change every day, so let them learn how to self-regulate their intake.

Try everything at the table, even if it's only a teaspoonful. Research suggests that kids need to see a new food up to ten times before they will realize they actually like it, so don't give up offering new things.

Insist that vegetables be eaten before treats or desserts - taking this one step further, insist that vegetables be eaten before anything else! This is an easy step to "spin" - tell the kids that it gets the vegetables out of the way. It also ensures the veggies get in, and it avoids the "I can't eat those, I'm already full" ploy.

Don't insist on "the clean plate club." This goes hand-in-hand with small portions and eating vegetables first. Allow kids to listen to their bodies.

Talk about good food in a positive way - as well as delivering a healthy message, conversing during a meal slows down the intake, and allows everyone's bodies time to feel satisfied. If someone doesn't like a certain food, ask what could be done to make the food taste better, then try it out.

When eating together isn't possible (such as lunchtime), apply the lessons learned at home.

Pack lunch. It is the only way to control portions and content.

Use reusable containers. Baggies and throwaways only encourage food waste, and you will never know what has been eaten. Kids bring home their leftovers in reusable containers, so you can see whether they have eaten well. Better still, besides helping you determine portion sizes, those leftovers make a great after school snack - just be sure to include an ice pack so everything is still safe to eat in mid-afternoon.

Don't send treats or desserts in school lunches - Yes, eliminating cookies from the lunchbox is radical, but save the treats for after school, when you can be sure the good food has already gone in.

Make a "lunch list." On a sheet of paper, make three columns. Label them "main dish," "side dish," and "fruit/veggie". In each column write down the foods that your child likes, then post the list on the refrigerator. Let your child use the list to plan lunches by picking something from each column. This way the child has some control over what they receive, but you can still get "the good stuff" in the lunch box without having to rack your brain in the morning to cobble together a balanced meal. The lunch lists also help with grocery shopping - if one kid is in a banana phase, you'll always know to have them on hand.

Anticipate the hungry spots in between meals, and serve snacks before kids (or you) are ravenous.

Snacks are essential, but they don't have to be fat or sugar laden to be appealing: fresh and dried fruit, fresh vegetables, nuts, popcorn, pretzels, crackers, cheese and baked chips are all handy to fill in the day. Furthermore, timing is essential - bring out the healthy snacky things before kids ask for them. Neither do junky stuff and soda have to be forbidden, but they should be viewed, and served, as a treat - while watching the big game, or at a birthday, or on holidays, for example.