A couple headlines

“Half of obese kids don’t know it” headlined an article in my local paper while the Wall Street Journal recently ran an article entitled “Forget Dinner. It’s Always Snack Time in America”.fat-child

We’ve looked at the stats before – not only is our adult population growing bigger, our kids are too. One-third of our youngsters have a body mass index indicating overweight or obesity.

Parents, how are we not aware of the problem? And what value is there in knowing your child is overweight? Excess weight may carry negative physical and psychological problems with it; and most would agree control is easier than “cure”.

The weight and health of our children is NOT the responsibility of the school system or government. It is a parent’s duty to establish healthy lifelong habits for our children.

familyhugFirst and foremost parents serve as role models! We might like to blame peer pressure, but the most influential role model (good or bad) is a parent – always.

And while I doubt June Cleaver is prepping meals at your house, understanding this continuous snacking trend is important and seems to be the key to weight management for kids and adults.

Three thoughts on snacks:

  • accept that snacking is a constant
  • plan, shop and prepare snacks
  • use “mealtime foods” as snacks

Don’t make snacking more difficult than it needs to be. A mix of both carbohydrates and protein seem to be optimal. That might take the form of something as exotic as glass of milk, cereal with milk, a handful of nuts, or a half sandwich. The only real challenge is to keep it as readily available as that box of cookies or bag of chips!

PLAN some better snacks to be well,



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The Power of Protein

ProExamplesAmong the hundreds of blog postings I’ve written, I don’t recall ever writing one solely focused on protein. The average American, stats show us, eat too much in general and an awful lot of fatty meat specifically. (Summer festivals and street fairs bring corn dogs to mind).

However, last month I watched a webinar, The Power of Protein, Separating Hype from Reality, sponsored by the Dairy Council of California.  It featured the work of two PhD nutrition researchers who studied weight reduction diets and their protein content. Their work suggested you will lose more weight if your dietary protein intake is increased.

Perhaps most important was that the finding that the lost weight will include more fat and less lean body mass – the reverse of which is a central problem to most weight loss regimens in general. There was even evidence of increased lean body mass in those consuming more protein.

A further finding was that there is an optimal range of protein intake which is 24 – 35 grams/meal. That translates to 3.5 – 5 ounces of “meat”/meal.

“Meat”, I’m hoping you recall refers to not only beef but poultry, fish and pork. Milk and yogurt are excellent protein sources as well as plant proteins like beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. A couple caveats: lean protein still rules as it helps limit total calories in the diet which is always the bottom line with losing weight. But, secondly, their research showed protein must be distributed throughout the day and not concentrated in one monster-size sizzling steak at dinner.

This message, though, can’t be lost: the healthiest diet is the sum of all that you eat and not determined by one specific food. The healthiest people tend to be active and social as well. Much goes in to being well,


PS A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than do the men who mention it.

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