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Community Chat: How to Combat Childhood Obesity

The epidemic of childhood obesity has once again become a mainstream media target, with the approach of handling this problem being questioned.

The issue of childhood obesity has once again made its way to the forefront of mainstream media. Huffington Post, , posted a column by David Katz, M.D., the Director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center, concerning issues surrounding childhood obesity – who health professionals target to combat this disease, the long-term affects of this epidemic and more.

One target in the column was how children can dictate the types of food and eating habits of the family.

Referencing the influence of kids in the home Katz said, “I know something about the power the little devils exert on a family,” and provided a detailed description of how kids can control the eating patters of the house.

“When kids have no interest in eating well, but instead want 'the one with Sponge Bob on it' it becomes virtually impossible for parents to make their home a safe nutritional environment. Conversely, when children are motivated to defend a health related issue, they become powerful agents of positive change. Kids were the major drivers of seat belt use, and fire safety nation-wide. They played a key role in reducing tobacco use as well. My own interest in nutrition as a child converted my whole family. For good, or for bad, kids are powerful change agents,” he wrote.

This week’s Community Chat question: How can the parents take control of the eating parents of their kids and combat childhood obesity?

lawyer and mom March 30, 2011 at 06:21 PM
Schools have to provide for gym on a daily basis and stop serving so much pasta and nutritionally deficient foods in the cafeteria.
Debbi Hager Spiegel March 30, 2011 at 06:58 PM
Parents can control what their children eat at home. There are some major issues with what items are being sold in our school cafeterias. I know that our PTA Health & Wellness representative has been battling to get healthier choices into the cafeteria. The elementary school ala carte snack items are high in calories, fat, artificial ingredients and low in any nutritional value. There are vending machines n the middle and high schools with the same types of snacks. It should be the responsibility of the Nutrition department to offer options that benefit the health and nutritional needs of our children.
Jennifer Armstrong March 31, 2011 at 11:39 AM
Childhood obesity is a complex challenge that requires more than one type of courage. On the Lion's Whiskers blog www.lionswhiskers.com we talk about six types of courage: physical , emotional, moral, social, intellectual, and spiritual. Our children need to develop courage in all six areas. As parents, so do we, in order to model healthy fitness and diet choices, positive and fulfilling activities and interests. High-value character traits such as self-control, patience, perseverance and responsibility take courage to enact. Courage is a mechanism for switching on those virtues; without courage they remain abstract, and problems remain intractable. We need to develop our own courage as parents to resist our children's whines, to ask our schools to offer healthier food, and to model good choices ourselves.

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