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Wednesday September 11, 2013 MYT 1:51:00 PM
Wednesday September 11, 2013 MYT 3:32:37 PM
One way to crack down on childhood obesity? Switch up the family routine, cut down on television, and dine together, a new study suggests.
TO help kids fight the battle of the bulge, a new study suggests changing up household routines with a few simple strategies.
In a new study published online Sept 9 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, US and Canadian researchers implemented a home-based intervention to help young kids lose weight, by curbing TV time, increasing sleep time, and encouraging families to dine together.
While childhood obesity is looming large around the globe, the US is especially struggling: some 17% of US children are obese, with the problem particularly acute among minority groups and low-income families, the report added.
One solution: a holistic lifestyle change, Aaron Carroll, a paediatric obesity expert who penned an editorial to the study, suggested.
“Rather than drill down to a specific eating or exercise change, creating a healthier household may be a better way not only to improve weight, but overall physical and mental health as well,” he wrote in the editorial.
In the study, researchers from Harvard Medical School and Ontario’s University of Guelph enlisted 121 families with overweight kids in a six-month study, with 59 families assigned to a control group.
Prior to the study, all of the children slept in a room with a television.
In the intervention group, families received in-home counselling about healthy habits, and children increased their sleep by a half hour per day, cut down their television time by one hour per day, and in turn reduced their body mass index (BMI) by 20%.
Children in the control group increased their BMI by 20%.
In a separate 2012 study from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, researchers found that televisions in bedrooms can put kids at greater risk of obesity.
A separate 2011 study in the journal Pediatric Obesity also found that electronic devices – TVs, computers, and mobile phones – in kids’ bedrooms are linked with both poor sleep and obesity. – AFP Relaxnews
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Change routine, weight loss, help kids shed weight
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