RobardUser Robard Corporation | All posts tagged 'childhood obesity'

5 Tips to a Healthier Family (Part 2)



Studies are increasingly showing that the epidemic of obesity is rapidly growing, becoming not just a public health crisis for adults, but for entire families. In our recent blog post Childhood Obesity Predictors May Not Be What You Think (Part 1), we found that not only is childhood obesity rising (doubled in the past 30 years), but it has also been strongly linked to parental obesity.

Research on families and obesity reveals that children of overweight parents have an 80 percent chance of also being overweight. You might be tempted to think that the majority of this is due to the family’s genetic predisposition, but researchers have shown that the link between one’s genetics and one’s weight accounts for only a small part of this 80 percent chance. What seems to matter more is your family environment.

In fact, establishing healthy routines for your entire household can support you in staying on track in your own diet and weight loss journey. Being healthy has a reciprocal effect; what you do for your children will positively affect you and vice versa. The key is to identify the problem and work to slowly chip away at it. To get started, try a few of these tips to start implementing healthier routines in your household this week:

1. Enjoy meals together. When everyone sits down together to eat, there’s less chance of children eating the wrong foods or snacking too much.

2. Explore mindful eating and introduce the idea to your family to prevent overeating. For more about mindful eating, read our blog post.

3. Get kids involved in cooking and planning meals. Everyone develops good eating habits together and the quality time with the family will be an added bonus. For easy meals that even the kids can help with, check out these recipes for a week’s worth of healthy meals.

4. Make physical activity a weekly goal with your family, and find ways to make it fun and help bring you all together. For some ideas on fun ways to stay active with your family, check out this slideshow.

5. Talk to your kids. If you struggle with your weight, it may be impacting your kids whether you know it or not. Strive to be open about your struggles and your journey with your children. Model for them the importance of making your health a priority so they can learn to do so for themselves as they grow older. Try daily affirmations for positive body image with your kids. Plus, we don’t have to keep these struggles to ourselves. When we have the support of our family, so many things are possible. You may find that achieving a healthier weight can be more enjoyable, in addition to bringing your family closer together.


Sources: American Heart Association, Obesity Action Coalition


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation



Read More >>

Childhood Obesity Predictors May Not Be What You Think (Part 1)



Finding the motivation to pursue a healthy weight can be difficult sometimes. But a new study out of Stanford University may be able to add an increased sense of urgency and purpose, particularly for parents: Do it for the kids!

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. While many factors have contributed to this, including increased access to fast foods and higher birth weight, more evidence shows that the factor that puts children at greatest risk of being overweight is having obese parents.

“The findings of this study suggest that at-risk children may be identifiable in the first few years of life,” says W. Stewart Agras, MD, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, whose team assessed both established and hypothesized risk factors in a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.

Agras says parental obesity represented the most potent risk factor, a finding that confirms previous observations, and the connection between overweight parents and overweight children is likely due to a combination of genetics and family environmental influences.

Childhood obesity can lead to many other health issues for children. According to the American Obesity Association, pediatricians are reporting more frequent cases of obesity-related diseases such as type-2 diabetes, asthma and hypertension — diseases that once were considered adult conditions.

It can be emotionally conflicting to think about the ways that one’s own health can negatively impact one’s children. But remember that the focus of this study and its findings is not about blame or shaming overweight parents, but rather about prevention. “It’s important to identify risk factors because they may provide a way to alter the child’s environment and reduce the chance of becoming overweight,” Agras says.

Remember: Good health is paramount for many reasons. The first reason is YOU. Obesity can prevent you from living a long, happy, and healthy life. The next reason is the people that you love. You play an integral role in building a healthy family. But while bad eating and exercise habits in children can be passed down from parents, the good news is that we have the power to change those unhealthy habits for ourselves, as well as for our children. Stay tuned for Part 2 for 5 tips for a healthier family….


Sources: American Heart Association, News Medical, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation




Read More >>

New App Helps Providers Talk with Patients about Childhood Obesity



There is an increasing problem in how healthcare providers are approaching obesity and no one is talking about it —because they don’t know how to.

Obesity and its related chronic conditions is one the biggest detrimental health issues in America, but medical schools fail to teach their students — future healthcare providers — how to interact with patients about their weight. This is unacceptable, as this leaves our future medical providers without the knowledge of basic conversational approaches to initiate treatment of one of our country’s leading epidemics.

In an effort to teach and improve providers’ interaction with their patients about obesity, Kognito, a New York City-based company that designs immersive learning experiences with virtual humans to bring about positive changes in health behaviors, created an application for the Apple App Store and Google Play called “Change Talk 2.0.” This application, which has a goal of changing the conversation about childhood obesity, has the user enter a “virtual scenario,” enter a question, and then get feedback from a “virtual family” about the encounter. It was created to offer a simulation-type experience in the hopes that it will make it easier for the provider to broach the sensitive subject of weight to their adolescent patient.

Since launching in 2014, the first iteration of the application boasted 30,000 users. Now that the second version has been released, one would anticipate additional growth and perhaps expansion into virtual simulations that focus on motivational interviewing approaches to obesity with the adult patient population. There’s certainly a market for it. In fact, a survey was conducted of providers that used the original application and a resounding 93 percent said that they would make changes to provide better healthcare to their patients. Eighty-eight percent of the providers made changes within a month after completing the survey.

Applications like “Change Talk” are proving to be indispensable tools for healthcare, and the market is only beginning to scratch the surface. Healthcare and technology will continue to merge, and the ultimate result will be improved healthcare and outcomes for patients. As app developers continue to dip into the healthcare market, healthcare providers will benefit from new technology as an extension of their services, allowing for broader and individualized attention on the patient. If you haven’t already, it’s best to get on board now.

Source: Fast Company

Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation


Read More >>