Tag Archives: childhood obesity

More Moms Worried About Their Own Weight, but Focus on Family Health First, Says New Survey

mom and daughter shopping

Families are an important support system, especially when it comes to health and nutrition. When the entire family is focused on health, it’s easier to keep concerns like childhood obesity at bay.

In fact, in a new survey of more than 1000 women by WomensForum.com, more than one-third of moms revealed that they are regularly concerned about childhood obesity in their home. Interestingly, the same survey revealed that 70 percent of moms are worried about their own weight.

So does that mean moms are more focused on their own weight than their children’s? Andrea Metcalf, a health and fitness expert for WomensForum.com, warns people away from jumping to that conclusion.

“It may appear surprising that moms seem to be more concerned about their own weight rather than their children’s, but if you look at what they actually buy at the supermarket, it becomes clear that they view health and nutrition differently from dieting and calorie cutting,” she said.

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Farmers Markets in All 50 States Accept Your EBT SNAP Cards, Some Double Your Money!

snap at farmers market

It’s no secret: it can often take a lot of money to eat healthy. Anyone who has tried to shop at premium grocers or attempted to buy mostly organic produce can understand this. It can leave you questioning how low-income families can do it! You may not believe it, but the best place to go just may be your local farmers market.

Recently, Dr. Richard Besser hosted a conversation on G+ as a part of the TED-MED series on childhood obesity. Featured in this panel was Don Schwarz, Health Commissioner and Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity in the City of Philadelphia. When asked how to combat the issue of African American and Latino children being exposed to the highest level of unhealthy foods and beverages, he suggested policy change to allow public benefits (like food stamps) to be accepted at farmers markets.

Well, Mr. Health Commissioner, have we got good news for you: They already do!

We have noticed a growing trend in our local farmers markets throughout the country accepting SNAP (or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps) just like regular cash. Gone are the days where affordability and accessibility of fresh produce isn’t possible on food stamps. Shopping at your local farmers market is not only better for the environment, but the nutritional quality is higher, and your money can literally go further.

okra forsythe market koskie

Wholesome Wave Georgia features more than 20 farmers markets that accept SNAP throughout the state, but Forsyth Farmers Market in Savannah, has taken it to another level. They literally give you twice the bang for your buck. This market will match your SNAP dollars thanks to a grant from Wholesome Wave Georgia. Accepting SNAP since 2009, they developed this partnership to ensure that the highest quality produce was perfectly attainable no matter your resources. And is it working?

“Last year, we had the top redemption rates for a single market in the state of Georgia,” says Forsyth Farmers Market co-founder and coordinator Teri Schell.

But if you’re not in the Savannah area, fear not. There are farmers markets that accept SNAP in all 50 States. We found 50 with the best deals!

Alabama: On Double Days, Homegrown Alabama will match dollar-for-dollar up to $25.

Alaska: Alaska Farmers Market Association says to check that the booth you shop at accepts them, too!

Arizona: Hosts a whole list of SNAP-specific gardens.

Arkansas: Featured this week in the Top 10 Fastest Growing Farmers Market states. (more…)

TED-MED and Dr. Richard Besser Host a Candid Chat about the 1 in 3 American Children Who are Obese

dr-richard-besser-ted-med-childhood-obesity-hangout

Quick Stats About Childhood Obesity

  • Nearly 1 in 3 children in America are overweight or obese
  • 8.4% of children 2 – 5 years old are obese
  • 17% of children 6 – 11 years old are obese
  • 20.5% of children 12 – 19 years old are obese

This afternoon, Dr. Richard Besser hosted a conversation on Google+ Hangouts as part of TED-MED to discuss childhood obesity. Dr. Besser is a pediatrician and the Chief Medical Editor at ABC News, and the author of Tell Me the Truth, Doctor, a comprehensive health guide that will both inform and surprise as he deciphers fact from fiction for nearly 70 confusing medical questions.

Dr. Besser assembled a discussion panel for today’s session, including:

  • Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association
  • Don Schwarz, Health Commissioner and Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity, City of Philadelphia
  • Elissa Epel, Professor, UCSF School of Medicine
  • Lisa Simpson, President and CEO, Academy Health

The group began by talking about stress and the effect it has on health, both in children and adults. Stress is biologically potent and causes us to overeat sweets. Research shows the combination of stress and overeating is “the most dangerous combination,” Elissa says. One of the challenges the group agrees on is taking the research and putting it into practice. Very little is happening so far to create actionable programs that make a difference.

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Does Your Family Get Enough Sleep? If Not, Your Kids May be at a Higher Risk for Obesity

Sleep is important for a number of reasons, but a study has discovered a new one you may not know about. According to research from the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES), the amount of sleep you get can impact your kids’ obesity risk.

child sleeping

The study states the amount of sleep parents get is connected to the amount of sleep their children get. The more parents are sleeping, the more children are sleeping, and more child sleep is connected to decreased childhood obesity.

“Parents should make being well rested a family value and a priority,” said Barbara H. Fiese, director of the University of Illinois’ Family Resiliency Center.

“Sleep routines in a family affect all the members of the household, not just children; we know that parents won’t get a good night’s sleep unless and until their preschool children are sleeping.”

It has been shown that not getting enough sleep can lead to moms, dads, and their children gaining weight. (more…)

The $190 Billion Problem: It’s the Actual Cost of Obesity in the U.S.

Bistro MD obesity and healthcare costs

Health researchers continue to study—and warn about—the rising rate of obesity worldwide and particularly in the United States. The concern, of course, is for people’s overall health: Being obese is associated with a ton of medical problems including type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which is why you’ve probably heard that obesity is one of the main causes of skyrocketing health care costs. (more…)

New Documentary “Fed Up” Shows Skinny Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Healthy

There is a new documentary in the works, and it has certainly captured my attention. Executive produced by Katie Couric and directed by Stephanie Soechtig, the film  “Fed Up” explores the American obesity epidemic, specifically focusing on sugar. However, the film differentiates itself from other books, movies, television specials that focus on sugar in one big way: In addition to railing on sugar as the cause of obesity, “Fed Up” focuses on the fact that skinny is not a sign of healthy.

It’s about time.

I’m so glad that we are finally having a conversation around the fact that someone can thin but still have as much internal body fat as a morbidly obese person. In recent years, emerging research has shown that just because a person is skinny it does not mean that they are healthy. People of average weight can suffer from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions once thought to be associated with only obese individuals. Weight may not be the driver behind this, but body fat that comes from foods loaded with sugar most certainly is, according to “Fed Up”.

The film attacks sugar pretty seriously, even referring to it as the “new tobacco,” and blaming the food industry and the government as the biggest pushers of the substance. Fed Up focuses on the importance of not blaming children for the fact that they are obese, but rather the marketing that has pushed our country into a sugar induced epidemic. (more…)

Stop. Just Stop Calling Girls Fat.

I’d bet there’s one thing girls are called more than anything else: Fat. Some hear it from their classmates, others from their friends, still others from their family. Eventually many hear it from themselves. In a UCLA study, more than 2,000 girls were surveyed and 58 percent of them had been told they were too fat by the age of 10.

girls

Soak that in for a moment. More than half of 10 year-old-girls have heard the words “you’re fat.”

Unfortunately, that’s not the worst of it. The study measured the heights and weights at the beginning of the study, and again nine years later. Those who had been told they were fat were 1.66 times more likely to be obese when they were 19.

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Sorry, Childhood Obesity Rates Aren’t Dropping After All

People hate being wrong. They hate it even more when they’re wrong about good news. That’s the situation researchers are now facing with contrasting reports about childhood obesity.

child obesity

In February, it was announced the obesity rate for children fell just over 40 percent in a decade. How great is that? A 40 percent drop in childhood obesity means progress in the fight against obesity is being made. A 40 percent drop means we’re finally gaining some ground. Unfortunately, that 40 percent drop doesn’t show the whole picture.

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The Blind Side Actor Gets Booted Off US Airways Flight. “I Felt Humiliated.”

Recently actor Quinton Aaron was asked to give up his seat on a US Airways connecting flight because of his size. The star of the Oscar winning movie, The Blind Side says he didn’t cause a scene or ask the airline to reconsider, he simply grabbed his bag and left as quickly as he could.

Quinton Aaron

In The Blind Side, Aaron played the real life Michael Oher, a homeless teen who is taken in by a local family and raised as their own. Oher would eventually join the NFL as an offensive tackle for the Tennessee Titans. Standing 6 foot 8 and weighing 550 pounds, Aaron’s size was perfect for the role, but after this “humiliating experience,” he’s determined to lose weight.

In the past, Aaron avoided the seat issue by flying first class, but when there were none available on the US Airways flight, he had to buy two economy seats. This solution worked until the the passenger who purchased the third seat arrived on the sold out flight.

He told ABC News, “As I saw the seats, I’m literally hoping that no one had to sit next to me because I knew it wasn’t going to work if they did.” He was asked to leave the plane and was re-booked on a later flight.

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Here’s What You Missed Health-Wise During the State of the Union

Last night President Obama delivered his 5th State of the Union Address. During the near 90 minute speech, he covered topics like the citizenship, the United States’ military presence in the Middle East, and equal pay. An increase to minimum wage was a hot topic in the speech. President Obama would like to see it increase to $10.10 per hour. That portion of the speech provided the most easily quoted moment of the night, “Give America a raise.”

In a blink-and-you-missed-it moment, the president also, unsurprisingly, talked a bit about health care and the still much-debated Affordable Care Act.

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