So just to recap my January blogs, I’ve covered New Year’s Goals (not resolutions), First Goal: Clean the home (as in reducing temptations, creating food order, using lists for planning), understanding the superstars from each food group (choosing mostly lean and non-meat proteins, whole grain/high fiber unprocessed carbohydrates, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables — including beans, nuts, seeds in the diet, and going low fat or fat free when choosing dairy products), the importance of portion control, and why exercise is crucial to the weight-loss formula.
In just the last few weeks, all kinds of new studies that suggest why specific dietary choices are crucial, why excess weight is so dangerous, and why exercise is so important for health, wellness and weight loss, have been topping the news. To highlight just few:
- A pregnant woman’s diet may rewire offspring’s brain for lifelong risk of obesity
- European regulators decide to assess if weight (excess) affects the success of “morning after pill”
- Exercising more and sitting less reduces heart failure in men
- Diet drinks often mean “food compensation,” as in eating more
- Dad’s diet, bodyweight, and health at the time of conception may contribute to obesity in offspring
- Those who cut their soft drink habit, appear to improve health profile
- A diet rich in flavonoids may reduce risk of developing diabetes type 2
- Exercise may protect against stomach cancer
- Low-fat dairy consumption may improve insulin resistance
- Eating tree nuts daily may cut obesity risk
- Study says blood type diets don’t work
- The three risk factors mostly associated with childhood obesity among pre-schoolers: poor sleep, a parent’s BMI that classifies as obese, parental restriction of child’s eating to control weight
I could go on, because there were dozens more studies published since the first of January. If lowering your risk of cancer will inspire change, read Dr. Cindy Haines’ recent blog. Does any of this information inspire you to lose weight or to try and change your lifestyle to improve your health?
I’m hoping that if you are a parent, you are paying attention to the last study that I mention, which discusses the three most common causes of obesity in young children and reflects directly on you, the parent. And even if you are not a parent, maybe you are a sister, aunt or uncle, mentor, teacher — maybe you have some mentoring relationship with a child that will help you to intercept your own weight issues, because the children are learning habits from you. Many people who struggle with weight need an “outside influence” to spur change. The saying “you’re worth it” somehow does not ring true for many individuals, so in some cases doing it for the greater good or for someone else's benefit is a better motivator. Ultimately, when the weight starts to come off, and your health improves, along with your energy levels and your waistline, it will become all about you — a better you.
Here’s what we know about little kids.
If their parents are obese, then the food in their home is often either unhealthy and caloric, or their parents are chronically dieting with large swings in the amount of calories and types of food they are eating — a poor example for kids. Chances are food rewards are being used in the home and when kids get bored, food is offered. It’s likely that there isn’t a whole lot of exercise going on in the household, and TV watching, video gaming and computer use is probably prevalent. There may be an effort to cook fresh, but it’s probably high fat, high sugar, high sodium in nature, and my guess is that dishes like fried chicken, mac n' cheese and pizza are high on the list of weekly choices.
How do we change this? One habit at a time.
Why do we change this? Because the kids deserve a healthier start in life.
You already know how hard it is to live as an overweight or obese person. So why would you create the same destiny for the children?
If your own health and well-being is not enough to motivate you to lose the excess weight and improve your own health profile, then do it for the kids. Use the information from my blogs and from other bloggers, and access the broad database under “diet and exercise” and “obesity” to start a lifestyle transformation. Need apps or gadgets to help you with a lifestyle change? Dorian Martin’s blog can help. Find motivation, seek information and get started!
Amy Hendel is a Physician Assistant and Health Coach with over 20 years of experience. Noted author, journalist and lifestyle expert, she brings extensive expertise to her monthly shareposts. Her most recent book, The 4 Habits of Healthy Families is available for purchase online, and you can watch her in action on her shows Food Rescue and What's for Lunch? Sign up for her daily health tweets or catch her daily news report at www.healthgal.com.
Published On: January 25, 2014