Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
At 9 years old, Breanna Bond weighed 186 pounds, a number that had her doctor and her family alike worried for her health in an age of childhood obesity and rampant Type II diabetes that affects an estimated 12.5 million U.S. children. As CNN.com reports, the involvement of the whole family was the key motivating factor that helped Breanna shed 65 pounds:
“Conversations about a child’s weight can be fraught with psychological landmines, says Dr. Denise Wilfley, director of the Weight Management & Eating Disorders Program at Washington University School of Medicine.
“Mainly what we suggest is actually having the whole family take on a healthier lifestyle — for everybody to eat as well as possible, as nutritiously as possible, so the overweight child is not singled out,” she says.
Wilfley encourages parents in her programs to “walk the walk” and be a role model for their children. She talks about food as energy for kids’ bodies — eating better will help them think harder, jump higher, play more.
Her families try to follow the traffic light diet, with green-light foods such as vegetables, yellow-light foods such as lean protein and red-light foods such as sweets or simple carbohydrates.
“We focus a lot on not defining self-worth by the number on the scale,” she says. “The best way to prevent eating disorders is having very healthy eating patterns.”
[Heidi] Bond realized that in order to get [her daughter] Breanna to exercise regularly, they would had to make it a family activity. The Bonds started walking four miles, four days a week, on a trail near their home in Clovis, California.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Bond says. “There were times where she refused to move.” But in the end, “a little tough love to save the rest of their life” was worth it, she says.
It’s best to avoid a power struggle when it comes to exercise and healthy eating, according to Jelalian. She says it’s easy for parents to become the “food police” without getting at the deeper issues. Parents should ask why a child wants a certain food or doesn’t want to work out and problem-solve with them to find a healthy alternative.
She recommends parents give their kids a choice as much as possible — not about being active or not active, but about what activity they want to do.
“It really takes that balance in parenting of being firm — this part is not negotiable, but being warm, caring in how you do that.”
Identifying your child’s motivation for losing weight is key, Wilfley says. Do they want to be able to run faster? Play football? Avoid teasing at school? Combining that goal with incentives such as sleepovers or family outings should help to keep a child motivated.”
Image: Family nature walk, via Shutterstock
Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
On the premiere episode of Katie Couric’s new talk show Katie, singer and fashion designer Jessica Simpson revealed her post-baby body for the first time since she disclosed that she was struggling to lose pregnancy weight and seeking help from Weight Watchers–and is now a spokesperson for the company–to shed the pounds.
On the show, Simpson disclosed that she’s lost more than 40 pounds, and that she is 10 pounds from her pre-pregnancy weight. Simpson’s daughter Maxwell Drew was born May 1.
PEOPLE.com has more:
A new outlook on food has helped.
“The only fish I ever ate was a fish stick,” Simpson says, adding that she also loved chips, guacamole and queso. “Now I’m trying to eat fish.”
She adds, “I definitely don’t pick up the magazines. I definitely don’t Google my name. I try to avoid it completely. But I subconsciously know the talk is going on. Every day it’s a struggle for me. Weight Watchers is not intimidating. It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle.”
Simpson, who admits she “put on more baby weight than I was planning,” isn’t ashamed of her former body.
“I have to separate myself from the world’s expectations,” she says. “I have to look inside myself. I want to be a role model.”
Image: Pregnant Jessica Simpson, via s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
Friday, September 7th, 2012
NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” will include teenagers when the weight loss show resumes in January, CNN reports.
Trainer Jillian Michaels, who returns to the show next season, says she’s especially motivated to help kids since becoming a mother this year. From CNN:
At least three teens between the ages of 13 and 17 will be included in the competition. They will work with trainers, nutritionists and child obesity experts to drop pounds just like the adult contestants on the ranch. Unlike the adults, however, they will not be up for elimination each week.
“As a former overweight teen, I know firsthand how dramatically weight issues can affect every aspect of a child’s life,” Michaels said in a statement from NBC. “Having recently become a mother of two, I am more passionate than ever about helping empower children and families with the information and resources they need to live a healthier life.”
More than one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Image: Jillian Michaels via DFree / Shutterstock.com.
Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
Singer, fashion designer, and television personality Jessica Simpson told USA Today that while she was pregnant with her baby daughter Maxwell Drew, she had a “big appetite” and gave in to frequent cravings for macaroni and cheese.
“I let myself indulge in everything I wanted because it was the first time I was ever pregnant, and I wanted to enjoy it,” she said. “I wanted to be happy and eat what I wanted.”
Simpson said she didn’t know the extra pounds wouldn’t “all come off with the baby.” Baby Maxwell was born on May 1 to Simpson and fiancé Eric Johnson, a former NFL player. ”I’m not a supermodel,” Simpson told USA Today. “My body is not bouncing back like a supermodel.”
To shed the weight, Simpson has been following Weight Watchers, and just announced that she’s a spokeswoman for the program. She holds Weight Watchers meetings at her home with her mom and a group of about 14 friends. “It’s nice to do it together and motivate each other,” she said.
Simpson didn’t reveal her starting weight, but said “I’ve lost weight every single week.” In addition to watching what she eats, Simpson is walking about an hour a day and wearing a pedometer to count her steps. She’s also doing brief muscle-toning workouts with a personal trainer several times a week.
“My weight has always been something that people like to comment on. I’ve gotten used to it,” Simpson told USA Today. She added: “Nobody wants to talk about their weight. For me, I have had to come to a place where I am comfortable with myself. I’m a mom now, and get to be a role model for this beautiful little girl.”
Image: Jessica Simpson via s_bukley / Shutterstock.com.
Monday, July 16th, 2012
A new study has found that breastfeeding–even for just six months–not only can help new mothers lose weight after giving birth, but it can also help women keep weight off for decades. From MSNBC.com:
Researchers found that women who had children tended to have higher body mass indexes later in life than did women with no children; however, the researchers were able to associate every six months of breast-feeding with a 0.22 drop in BMIs among the women in their 50s and early 60s.
This translates to a 1 percent drop in BMIs for every six months of breast-feeding, the researchers said.
“We already know breast-feeding is best for babies, and this study adds to a growing body of evidence that the benefits extend to the mother as well, even 30 years after she’s given birth,” said study researcher Dr. Kirsty Bobrow, a researcher at the University of Oxford.
Image: Mother breastfeeding newborn, via Shutterstock.