Weight Management

No Weigh

This may not be the best time to talk about weight….but maybe it is. Here are three quick stories in the news.

“Early Antibiotic Use May Be Tied to Higher Childhood Body Weight” was the headline in Physician’s Briefing. Over 350,000 kids were evaluated for antibiotic use before the age of 24 months. There was an association indicating higher overweight and obesity in this young population. This is not the first study to show similar results.

Of course, when your child requires antibiotics, administer as your MD directs. But avoiding crowds during this illness season is not only a good idea for you but your baby.

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The Journal of Physical Activity and Health published a study of 49 countries whose children did not get enough exercise. The goal for children aged 6 – 17 is one hour daily. Back away from the screens…kids and parents alike.

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The third article comes from work at the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Working in elementary, middle and high schools in the state with the goals of: reducing childhood obesity, providing fresh fruits and veggies and establish healthy eating habits in young children. Their strategies? Nutrition education in the classrooms and lunchrooms, cafeteria “coaches” and role modeling. Hmmmm. Where have we heard this advice before?

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Home economics really should be brought back into the curriculum and parents should be modeling good eating habits at home. Come on peeps! It’s not that hard. But it does take thought and planning.

Overweight and obesity is worsening in the US; not only is it a problem for adults but children as well. We must stem the tide of this multifactorial problem with multiple approaches and strategies. Perhaps December is the perfect time to show what washing hands, physical activity and food choices looks like to be well.

Marcia

 

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What time is it?

Nutrition specialists have long advised against late night eating.

While weight management IS just a mathematical equation – calorie intake versus calorie output – there are many complicating factors.

Among those factors:

  • poor late night food choices – we’re not eating our steel cut oatmeal at midnight
  • not allowing the body to “fast” before the morning meal – it is called breakFAST
  • disrupted sleep – adequate sleep helps our hormones which, in turn, help regulate satiety and hunger
  • calories are needed when they are used – during the day!

Many nutrition-related studies came out of last week’s American Heart Association’s meeting. One of which was a study of Hispanic and Latino Americans. This Columbia U study showed that high blood pressure and pre-diabetes were most common in people eating 30% of their calories after 6 PM. (I’m not certain if this was before the time change, but you get the drift.) Late night eating is a problem.

This study did NOT look at obesity, but we know the incidence and the degree of obesity has been on the rise for the last couple decades. What has changed? One of many changes is certainly the availability of food 24/7. In the old days (yes, I just said that), there were distinct mealtimes with a “fast” between dinner and breakfast.

Today, that doesn’t occur. In fact, for those of you following diet trends, intermittent fasting seems popular and “effective”. We need to allow the body to digest and metabolize our food. When we said “snacking” every few hours was healthy, we didn’t mean a full meal’s worth of calories every few hours was healthy.

Let’s slow down. Eat the earliest dinner as reasonable. Fast during the night and eat a nutritious breakfast. The old adage: eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like Prince William – was probably more helpful than most nutrition advice to be well.

Marcia

 

 

 

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