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Forget the Ice Cream… Healthy Food Creates Happy Kids, says Study



In our culture, we often associate happy childhood experiences with unhealthy behaviors or foods. Who can forget summers filled with ice cream, lollipops secretly passed to you by grandparents, getting the first warm cookie out of the oven, or even licking the cake batter out of the bowl?

However, while junk food and soda companies use plenty of marketing spin to make us believe eating junk equates to happiness, a new study out of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden has shown that healthy eating is strongly linked to children’s happiness.

Dr. Louise Arvidsson, the corresponding author, said, “We found that in young children aged two to nine years there is an association between adherence to healthy dietary guidelines and better psychological well-being, which includes fewer emotional problems, better relationships with other children and higher self-esteem, two years later. Our findings suggest that a healthy diet can improve well-being in children.”

The study was quite large, looking at 7,675 children, two to nine years of age, from eight European countries. It concluded that a healthy diet was associated with better self-esteem and fewer emotional and peer problems two years later. The healthy diet guidelines included limiting intake of refined sugars, reducing fat intake and eating fruit and vegetables.

While there is much more to be learned about the connection between healthy eating and overall well-being, this study points out the many interconnections between lifestyle, food habits, overweight, psychological wellness, and even peer interaction.

Plus, when it comes to children’s wellness, and particularly childhood obesity, plenty research has pointed out that family history plays a big role in how well children eat. In fact, parental obesity is the biggest risk factor for obesity in children.

Having such active lifestyles can be difficult to make it a priority to emphasize wellness for the whole family. However, there are many ways parents can begin to encourage healthier eating with their kids, which can positively impact the entire family. Perhaps this new knowledge that emphasizes the health of the family, and especially children, can serve as extra motivation for adults and parents to start losing the extra weight and adopting healthier behaviors.

You can learn more about Robard’s weight management programs and products by clicking here.

Source: ScienceDaily


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation

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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



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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




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