Motivating kids to be more physically active

March 5, 2014, News Medical

Parents can help motivate kids to be more physically active, but the influence may not result in an improvement in their children’s body mass index (BMI), finds a new evidence review in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

“It was disappointing to find the overall impact of interventions on physical activity was so minimal. It was encouraging, though, to find parents’ influence matters in this area, even with older children and teens,” said the review’s lead author Jane Cerruti Dellert, Ph.D., R.N., assistant professor and director of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program at the Seton Hall University College of Nursing in New Jersey.

Health promotion advocates attempting to reduce obesity in American children need to address the role of parents in their children’s health-related behaviors, she added. Continue reading

Motivating kids to be more physically active

March 5, 2014, News Medical

Parents can help motivate kids to be more physically active, but the influence may not result in an improvement in their children’s body mass index (BMI), finds a new evidence review in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

“It was disappointing to find the overall impact of interventions on physical activity was so minimal. It was encouraging, though, to find parents’ influence matters in this area, even with older children and teens,” said the review’s lead author Jane Cerruti Dellert, Ph.D., R.N., assistant professor and director of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program at the Seton Hall University College of Nursing in New Jersey.

Health promotion advocates attempting to reduce obesity in American children need to address the role of parents in their children’s health-related behaviors, she added. Continue reading

Study: Obesity’s link to type 2 diabetes not so clear-cut

Feb. 12, 2014, HealthDay

Although it’s a common belief that a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes often follows a large weight gain, a new study challenges that notion.

Researchers found that the majority of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes didn’t get the disease until they’d been overweight or obese for a number of years.

What’s more, participants who maintained stable levels of overweight and eventually developed type 2 diabetes didn’t have a significant rise in their level of insulin resistance — a traditional risk factor — before getting the disease.

“In general, the majority of individuals developing type 2 diabetes were rather weight stable during follow-up with a slightly higher average BMI [body mass index] than the diabetes-free population,” wrote study author Dorte Vistisen, at the Steno Diabetes Center in Denmark, and colleagues. Continue reading

Screen time again linked to kids’ extra weight

Nov. 25, 2013, Reuters

Children and teenagers who spend lots of time in front of screens – especially TVs – tend to gain more weight as they age, according to a new study.

The findings are consistent with research suggesting all that idle sitting and exposure to advertisements may fuel poor eating habits…

Many parents believe their children are getting a reasonable amount of recreational screen time, Mark Tremblay said. But most U.S. and Canadian kids exceed the recommended two-hour maximum per day.

“We don’t pay attention to the fact that it’s half an hour here, half an hour there, an hour here, an hour there,” Tremblay told Reuters Health. He is the director of Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa, Canada, and wasn’t involved in the new study.

Researchers used data from a long-term study of kids who took surveys every other year. The surveys included questions about their height and weight as well as how much time they spent watching TV and DVDs and playing computer and video games. Continue reading

CDC releases new guide for collecting body mass index measurements

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) recently released two new resources for health care providers called the “HL7 Height and Weight Report Implementation Guide” and the “IHE Quality, Research and Public Health Technical Framework Supplement for Healthy Weight.” The tools are designed to help practitioners transmit body mass index (BMI) data from electronic health record systems (EHRs) to public health surveillance systems so it can be used to assess progress in the fight against the childhood obesity epidemic.

Currently the process of capturing and communicating BMI data from provider offices to state health departments is largely inefficient and insufficient as it often requires the provider to enter data into more than one system or requires the development of custom databases. These limitations make it very difficult for agencies, communities, and states to evaluate progress in their childhood obesity prevention efforts. Continue reading

Even mild weight loss may lower diabetes risk in obese teens

June 7, 2013, HealthDay

Obese teens do not need to lose large amounts of weight to lower their risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study.

Researchers found that obese teens who reduced their body mass index (BMI) by 8 percent or more had improvements in insulin sensitivity, a measure of how well the body processes insulin and an important risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. BMI is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight.

“This threshold effect that occurs at 8 percent suggests that obese adolescents don’t need to lose enormous amounts of weight to achieve improvements,” study co-author Dr. Lorraine Levitt Katz, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Diabetes Center for Children at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said in a hospital news release.

“The improvements in insulin sensitivity occurred after four months of participating in a lifestyle-modification program,” Katz said. Continue reading

Sleep less, weigh more

April 10, 2013, The New York Times

By Nicholas Bakalar

A new study suggests that adolescent obesity could be decreased if teenagers got more sleep, and the heaviest would benefit most.

For a study published last week in Pediatrics, researchers surveyed 1,429 ninth-graders, gathering data on height and weight. The children reported their sleep habits on weekdays and weekends to the nearest 15 minutes. The researchers followed the students with interviews every six months over the next four years, updating their data. Continue reading

Not all screens are equal when it comes to obesity risk: TV may have greatest effect

April 8, 2013, TIME

By Bonnie Rochman

Sitting in front of a screen can increase the risk of obesity, but TV seems to have a larger effect on weight than computers or video games.

Computers, televisions, smartphones, and tablets are all responsible for keeping more kids more sedentary and mesmerized by a screen, but a new study in Pediatrics found some surprising differences among these devices and their relationship to childhood obesity. It turns out that only television — in particular, paying close attention to what’s on the tube — is associated with heavier kids. In a study of young teens, 14-year-old boys who reported paying the most attention to what was playing on television weighed 14.2 pounds more than boys who reported paying the least attention. For girls, the difference was 13.5 pounds. Continue reading