Childhood Obesity - Do you have an overweight child? We offer tips to help your child lose weight and get fit!

The My Overweight Child blog will help you keep informed about the latest research, findings, and resources available to parents of overweight or obese kids. There are many knowledgeable people working on the increasingly dire problem of childhood obesity - and we want to give parents a place where they can check in regularly to see the latest studies and tips available to help you help your child lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

We invite you to add your comments - if you have feedback for the blog, would like some specific topics covered, or you just want to share your experience as a parent dealing with childhood obesity.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Calories on Menus May Encourage People to Eat Less

Posting calorie counts on restaurant menus may motivate people to eat less , according to a new study from the Rudd Center for Food Policy at Yale University.
  • Researchers divided 300 people into three groups.
  • Group 1 had menus with the calories listed for the entrees only.
  • Group 2 had calories listed for entrees, as well as the notice that the recommended calorie intake for the average adult is 2000 calories a day.
  • Group 3 used menus that had no calorie references on them.
  • The group that had the 2000 calorie reference and the calorie labels ate about 250 calories less at dinner than the other groups. (That group ate 1380 calories at dinner as opposed to 1630 for the other groups.)
Author Christina Roberto said that calorie savings like this would add up over time and could favorably affect people's weights.

The study appeared in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One Year After Weight Loss Surgery, Severely Obese Teens Still Overweight

Waiting too long to have surgery for obesity may mean that a severely obese teenager will not achieve normal weight, according to a new study from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
  • Dr. Thomas Inge and his colleagues studied 61 teenagers a year after they had gastric bypass surgery, an operation that involves stapling the upper portion of the stomach to create a small pouch that restricts the amount of food a person can eat at one time.
  • The group that was the most overweight managed to lose nearly 40 percent of their body mass index (BMI), but that did not mean they achieved a medically-recommended weight.
  • The ones who had the lowest BMIs going into surgery had the lowest BMIs a year after the surgery.
Having the weight loss surgery did help the teenagers reduce their blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglycerides.

The study appeared in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Study Says Sugary Sodas Not Linked to Overweight in Teens

A five-year study of more than 2000 teenagers found no link between drinking sugar-sweetened sodas and becoming overweight.
  • The researchers found that teens who drank milk tended to be slimmer, and those who consumed no-calorie drinks were more likely to be overweight.
  • Researchers at Project EAT (Eating among Teens) surveyed 2294 teenagers in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area about their beverage habits over a five-year period.
  • The teens who were drinking low-calorie soft drinks had general dietary behaviors and weight concerns, which could explain their weight gain.
The study appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

An earlier study from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) linked drinking sugar-sweetened sodas to being overweight in teenagers.

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Friday, January 08, 2010

Can Device to Monitor Eating Speed Help Curb Childhood Obesity?

A new, interactive weighing device could help kids track how much food their eating, and how quickly it’s being consumed. The device could help prevent kids from overeating, thereby preventing excessive weight gain.
"Known as the Mandometer, the medical gadget weighs a plate of food at the beginning of a meal and then measures and tracks the rate at which the food is being consumed, giving voice signals to slow down if the child is scarfing down his food too quickly." [Source: RedOrbit]
A 12-month study of the device found that eating speed decreased by 11 percent, and children who used the Mandometer also ate smaller portions. The device works by comparing actual consumption rates with an “ideal” rate that’s programmed into the machine by a nutritionist.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

South Dakota Program Targets Youth Obesity

South Dakota needed a program to help children deal with weight issues. Aaron Maguire couldn’t find a program that addressed the need, so he created one of his own.

South Dakota's Argus-Leader newspaper provided the following details about Maguire's efforts:
Beginning this month, Dakota Kids Inc. will help overweight and obese children through a 12-week healthy kids program.

Meeting once a week for about an hour, participants – from kindergartners through high school seniors – will learn about nutrition and they’ll exercise. They’ll go through body composition and strength tests and be sent home with tip sheets to share with their families.
A recent South Dakota survey found that 33.6 percent of the kids are overweight or obese. Maguire hopes his Dakota Kids program will help significantly reduce that number.

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