Parents as Role Models in Fighting Obesity

CJ Westerberg, November 1, 2011 10:57 AM


Botero painting, Size dimension altered to fit format

"Evidence supports that school and home
have to be consistent partners
to have any meaningful impact on this epidemic

Parents as Role Models in Fighting Obesity

by C.J. Westerberg

Some schools are taking childhood obesity epidemic to task by incorporating healthier
foods on the lunch menu, among other initiatives.
However, the role modeling of better eating and exercise habits starts at home:

About a third of children and adolescents in the United States weigh too much. With so many overweight children, some experts worry that the majority of this generation will be overweight or obese as adults.
Now, a study in today's Journal of the American Medical Association finds that heavy teens often gain a lot more weight in their 20s. Half of obese adolescent girls and a third of obese teen boys become morbidly obese (80 to 100 pounds overweight) by their early 30s, the research shows.
"This new study should be a call to action to parents to look in their pantry and clean out all the junk food . . ."

Recommended steps:  Kids and teens should do an hour or more of moderate-intensity to vigorous physicalBotero.jpg activity each day. That includes running, biking, swimming, walking, jumping rope, skipping, playing basketball or soccer and doing muscle-strengthening activities such as tug of war, modified sit-ups and push-ups.

Other tips for parents include eating together as a family, limiting junk food snacking and involving kids in the preparation of healthy meals.
However, there is another aspect to the obesity epidemic: those children who come from disadvantaged homes with no choice about food ("insecure food" homes). In fact, these kids are often hungry where fast, unhealthy cheap food becomes the default.   See more on this topic in today's related post with Jeff Bridges on MSNBC's Morning Joe talking about the "No Kid Hungry" program for schools, a "huge delivery system" for food.  Bridges explains how obesity is the flip result of the hunger issue for these students.

We hear often from parents venting their frustration about how schools undermine their healthy lifestyle agenda at home. This is a real travesty considering how the research supports how learning is positively affected by exercise and healthy eating. Evidence supports that school and home have to be consistent partners to have any meaningful impact on this epidemic.

blog comments powered by Disqus
It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Leonardo da Vinci
Follow The Daily Riff on Follow TDR on Twitter

find us on facebook


Cool Smart Teen: Changing the conversation about building stuff

SMW, 11.04.2013

Not just building an app to play with . . . but a test for cancer

Read Post | Comments

Riffing good stories innovation.jpg

Video: What is the link between "design-thinking" and creativity?

SMW, 11.03.2013

Creative Confidence: Must-Watch Interview on Charlie Rose

Read Post | Comments
early education.preschool.jpg

How Much Do Early Years Lead to Student Success?

CJ Westerberg, 11.03.2013

"The idea being that wasn't necessarily to create little engineers everywhere, though that would be great for us. The idea was to take advantage of the natural learning process and curiosity that children have at that age . . ." Tamika Lang, Boeing

Read Post | Comments

NEW: Weekend Reading

SMW, 11.03.2013

Looking for Intimacy in the Age of Facebook is a higher education course (yes, you heard right). Interestingly, social media may inhibit creativity and innovation

Read Post | Comments

The New Resume

SMW, 10.31.2013

A picture is worth a thousand words. A video game-like format is worth . . .

Read Post | Comments

Noam Chomsky: The Purpose of Education

CJ Westerberg, 10.31.2013

"Education is really aimed at helping students get to the point where they can learn on their own. . . "

Read Post | Comments

Noam Chomsky: In the news again, this time about Twitter and High Schoolers

SMW, 10.31.2013

Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at MIT, "father of linguistics", political commentator.  From bio: "Besides his work in linguistics, Chomsky is internationally recognized as one of the most critically engaged public intellectuals alive today":               ...

Read Post | Comments

Choke: Test-taking - - - a different way to look at test-prep?

CJ Westerberg, 10.28.2013

"Most students will not find a steady diet of test-prep drills and worksheets to be particularly meaningful, and accordingly, they will not put forth optimal learning effort."

Read Post | Comments

Does your school have a beehive?

CJ Westerberg, 10.27.2013

"If we want children to be inventors, we have to give them opportunities to invent." - 5:00 mark, Mission Hill video

Read Post | Comments