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Fast food not to blame for childhood obesity

It’s easy to point the finger at fast food as the cause of the recent rise in childhood obesity rates. Yet a new study finds that eating fast food is only a byproduct of the real cause. Children are eating poorly all day long, following habits that originate in the home. The poor eating habits include low amounts of fruit and vegetables, as well as high amounts of sugary drinks and processed foods. These choices aren’t just limited to the home, they also show up in school meals. Seeing that the problem originates in the home, it’s important to develop strategies that address this.  

 

Source: medicalnewstoday.com/releases/271300.php

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Childhood obesity may cause girls to hit puberty early

Girls have been hitting puberty at a younger age than they were 15 years ago, and scientists speculate it has to do with higher rates of childhood obesity, as well as inactivity and exposure to chemicals in food. Between 2004 and 2011, American girls began developing breasts at age 9. Girls that were overweight began developing them around age 8. Early puberty results in a higher risk of breast cancer due to more exposure to estrogen. It also increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Source: http://blogs.discovery.com/childhood-obesity-linked-to-early-puberty-in-girls

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Talk to your kids about weight

Remaining silent on the issue of weight allows your kids and their peers to fill in the blanks, and sometimes the results aren’t healthy. To foster a healthy conversation about weight, focus on listening to find out what’s going on with your child. Talk about what a diet is and what distinguishes healthy eating from fad diets. Lastly, take on healthy eating initiatives that include the entire family. Don’t limit certain foods to certain family members. Show your child that everyone needs to eat healthy, for reasons beyond weight management.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/talking-to-kids-about-weight

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Obesity in childhood is linked to high blood pressure later

Overweight or obese children are more likely to have high blood pressure later in life than children who are a healthy weight. This information comes from a study that analyzed the growth of children over 27 years. Of the 1,117 participants, 119 were diagnosed with high blood pressure in adulthood. Six percent of them were a healthy weight throughout childhood, while 26 percent were obese and 14 percent were overweight. This means that children who are obese could be four times as likely to have high blood pressure as adults.  

Source: medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266082.php

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Health classes should incorporate talk therapy for teens

Expanding the curriculum of high school health classes to address the mental needs of teens could help them with weight loss. Researchers compared teens in traditional health classes with those in a newly designed health program. In the traditional classes, instructors discussed topics ranging from road safety to diseases. The new program incorporated 15 to 20 minutes of exercise each day and focused on techniques for dealing with stress and anxiety. The teens in these types of classes were a third less likely to gain weight as those in the traditional classes. There was also a 35 percent drop in drinking by the end of the 15-week class, and those who were most depressed showed progress towards a more normal mood range.  

Source: healthland.time.com/2013/09/10/to-help-teens-lose-weight-fold-talk-therapy-into-health-class/

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