Annual BMI Check-Up?

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Do you know your child’s BMI?

KidsVegetablesThis week, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a recommendation for childhood obesity screening.  The task force recommends that “clinicians screen children aged 6 years and older for obesity and offer them or refer them to intensive counseling and behavioral interventions to promote improvements in weight status.”

Twelve to 18 percent of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 are obese and are at high risk for type 2 diabetes, asthma and even nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.  Obesity also increases risk for certain cancers – so the long term consequences are serious.  Identifying these high risk children is only the first step in making a difference.  The second part of the recommendation – referring them to appropriate programs – is really the key to this report.

The Task Force reviewed over a dozen studies on behavioral programs targeted to overweight and obese children and adolescents.  They found that comprehensive programs using counseling, physical activity programs and behavioral management techniques were successful for modest weight loss that continued for at least 12 months after the program ended.

There are successful models and programs around the country for children and adolescents who struggle with overweight and obesity.  But in areas where these programs aren’t available, what will the clinicians do once they’ve identified at risk children?

Hopefully this report will help spur the growth of effective comprehensive programs that involve the entire family so that any lifestyle and behavioral change made by the child will be sustainable.

What do you think of the new recommendations?  Do you know of any comprehensive programs for children or adolescents in your community?

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    The Aroma of Fullness

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    Can’t stop eating? Food scientists are on the case.

    According to a paper published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists may soon be developing a new generation of foods that release hunger-sating aromas. The goal is that these foods will prevent people from overeating by releasing fullness-inducing scents during chewing.

    The future of foods may include releasing anti-hunger aromas during chewing.
    The future of foods may include releasing anti-hunger aromas during chewing.

    Previously, scientists have worked to develop tasty foods that trigger a feeling of fullness, but their effect only went into action after they were swallowed. The paper’s authors found that aromas released during chewing contribute to the feeling of fullness and possibly to the decision to stop eating. Molecules that make up a food’s aroma apparently do so by activating areas of the brain that signal fullness.

    This field of research is still preliminary, note the authors, and right now there’s no real food products.

    But luckily, there are plenty of eating habits you can try now to help you feel full without feeling hungry. One way is to follow the New American Plate way of eating, filling up your plate with at least two-thirds fruits, vegetables, and grains. The fiber and water in plant foods gives a feeling of fullness without supplying a lot of calories.

    Do you have any strategies to stop eating and/or feel full? Share.

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      Swimsuit Salad

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      Mid Adult Woman Eating A Healthy Meal, Smiling At The CameraHere’s a salad that’s a filling meal but still light on calories – with every bite you’ll be eating healthier, shoring up your  body’s arsenal of cancer-protective compounds and preparing for bathing suit season all at once.

      Today’s Health-e-Recipe is Roasted Chicken and White Bean Salad, giving you some chicken without adding too much animal protein while bulking the salad up with beans.

      AICR advises a eating mostly plant-based diet to get plenty of phytochemicals (naturally occurring cancer-fighting compounds found in plants) into your diet. (Read more about phytochemicals, and how to get more of them into every meal, in a PDF of the AICR brochure found here.)

      Beans are high in folate, a B vitamin. Like most vitamins and minerals, folate is best absorbed by the body from whole foods, not supplements. All plant foods give you fiber, a friend to your digestive system.

      Click here to receive free weekly Health-e-Recipes emailed to you from AICR’s Test Kitchen.


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