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12.11.2013
As a dietitian and nutritionist for more than 15 years, the most common emotion I encounter in parents is guilt. The latest figures show that 25.1% of Australian kids aged 2-17 years are overweight or obese. Researchers, including the team I work with, describe the society we live in as “obesogenic”.
Unhealthy food is cheaper and more easily available than healthy food, leisure activities are increasingly about sitting in front of a screen, and our towns and cities are built more for cars than for pedestrians or cyclists.
You only have to look at the sponsorship at a sporting club sign-on day to see how directly junk food companies market to children. For children, healthy weight is defined as being below the 85th percentile for body mass index (BMI) for age. In most Australian states, those BMI charts would be in the Personal Health Record book you get when your child is born. You probably haven’t checked up on their growth since they were a baby – but checking growth, just like checking teeth, vision, hearing etc, is good to do on a regular basis. The right serving sizes vary by gender and age, but for primary schoolers it’s around 5 serves of vegetables, 2 serves fruit, 4 serves grains and cereals, 2? serves of the meat group and 2? serves of the dairy group. The brochure gives equivalents of what you can swap for what and still get roughly the same calorie and nutrient intake. A recent survey showed that on average, Australian children get around 40% of their calories from those discretionary foods, which means they’re seriously missing out on food that’s better for them. Aim to keep kids active for around 60 minutes a day and spend no more than two hours in front of a screen. In the late 1990s, Flinders University dietitians and researchers developed a healthy lifestyle program for families of overweight primary school aged kids, which they called PEACH (Parenting, Eating and Activity for Child Health). Over the past 15 years, around 300 families in South Australia, New South Wales, and most recently Queensland have taken part in a PEACH program. The program is run over a six-month period to help change behaviours of the whole family, with 10 group sessions where the parents and carers meet while their kids play, as well as three support phone calls and a handbook with tips and recipes. With funding from the Queensland and federal governments, our team from QUT is now rolling out the PEACH program across Queensland.
There are countless reasons why more of our kids are growing up overweight and obese, many of which are out of our control as parents. If you’re part of a Queensland family that wants to be part of the free program, you can register here. The Queensland Government, through the joint Australian, State and Territory Government initiative under the National Partnership Agreement on Preventative Health, has contracted QUT to roll out the PEACH program across Queensland. Join CFAOrganisations and individuals join CFA to signal their commitment to the consumer interest.
Nearly 3 out of 4 men over age 20 are overweight or obese, according to statistics published by the 2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. After age 30, you experience a drop in production of the male sex hormone, testosterone, at a rate of approximately 1 percent per year. The good news: When you cut the same number of calories from your diet as a woman would, you tend to lose weight faster when you begin your diet plan -- because of your naturally greater levels of muscle mass. An intake of about 2,000 calories a day keeps you feeling satisfied, while also supporting weight loss.
Aim to eat about 6 ounces of whole grains daily, 2 to 3 cups of fresh vegetables, 2 cups of fresh fruit, 3 cups of low-fat dairy and 6 ounces of protein.


Make it easy to follow this plan by purchasing rotisserie chicken and bagged lettuce for salads.
Snack on fresh fruits, hummus and cut-up veggies or whole-wheat crackers, low-fat cheese and unsweetened Greek yogurt.
Aim for about 250 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise a week to lose significant weight, advises the American College of Sports Medicine. And it’s little wonder – if you’re an Australian parent, you have a one-in-four chance of raising a child outside the healthy weight range.
BMI for children is calculated the same way as it is for adults: weight (measured in kilograms) divided by height squared (measured in metres). But for children, the bands or percentiles change according to age to account for growing bodies.
We’re not used to thinking about weight in this way but for most health professionals, we think of it as just another health indicator that needs regular monitoring. So the main tips for trying to keep a lid on unhealthy growth are to firstly try to keep to eating only the food serves recommended in this Australian Guide to Healthy Eating brochure.
Try to stick to just eating this as much as you can, and your child will get all of the nutrients they need in the right amounts. Drinking is a really quick way of taking in a lot of calories without feeling full and without knowing it. Try to make the time you spend together active, such as swapping couch time for a pre-dinner family walk. A research trial, published in Pediatrics, found that participating in PEACH produced a relative weight loss of 10% in moderately obese children aged 5-9, which was maintained over a period of two years. For instance, the Innes family from Adelaide say they still eat healthier and lead more active lives than before they took part in the program three years ago. The idea is to give parents the skills they need to recognise the risks in our obesogenic society, and how to plan ahead to avoid them.
It’s available free to Queensland families with a child 5-11 years old above a healthy weight for their age and gender, and over the next three years we hope to help 1400 children across the state. But research also tells us that children who are above a healthy weight while young have a really high chance of staying that way as adults. But as the Innes family show, the choices we make can make a crucial difference to our kids’ futures. Helen Vidgen is a member of the Public Health Association of Australia and is the national convenor of their Food and Nutrition group. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. At the same time, you start to lose lean tissue and gain considerably more fatty tissue -- which is only accelerated by lower testosterone levels.
About 20 to 35 percent of your total caloric intake -- roughly 400 to 700 calories -- should come from fat. Order dressing on the side at restaurants and take half your order to go for a later meal, rather than stuffing down the entire meal all at once. Alternatively, you can have a sandwich on a whole wheat pita or with two slices of whole wheat bread, a light smear of mayonnaise and mustard, 2 to 3 ounces of turkey breast or roast beef, 1 ounce of mozzarella cheese and slices of tomato, dill pickle and shredded lettuce along with an apple.
Or try 3 ounces of roast chicken with a large baked sweet potato and 1 cup of green beans or have 2 slices of thin-crust, Hawaiian-style pizza with a large, green salad. Address all the major muscle groups with functional, multi-joint exercises such as squats, chest presses, deadlifts, lunges and pullups.


Increase the intensity at two or three of your weekly cardiovascular exercise sessions to further boost fat loss. That means that more children who were overweight are now obese, and those who were obese children are now more obese.
Instead, the odds are increasingly stacked against us as parents trying to do the right thing by our kids. Those are just a few examples of many small things that add up to make it harder to keep kids within a healthy weight range. Low-fat milks are recommended for children over two, as they still have all the nutrients, but with less of the fat.
She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. If you don't take action to counter muscle loss and drops in testosterone, your beer belly will continue to expand into your 50s.
These should be mostly unsaturated sources of fats such as nuts, olive oil, seeds, avocados and fatty fish. Minimize your alcohol intake, as beer and liquor can add hundreds of calories and also encourage fat accumulations in your middle. Try high-intensity interval training, which is better than other types of exercise at encouraging fat metabolism, according to a paper published in the Journal of Obesity in 2011. To lose weight, you need to trim calories and move more, but dainty portions of salad and dance aerobics aren't required.
Weight loss helps curb this drop in testosterone and reduces the risk of developing associated diseases such as type 2 diabetes. You can create a 1,000-calorie deficit by combining diet and exercise, without having to reduce your caloric intake drastically.
Limit your intake of saturated fat to no more than 6 percent of your 2,000-calorie intake, which is about 120 calories. Instead, order a grilled chicken sandwich on whole grain bread with a baked potato on the side. Having a more muscular body enables you to burn more calories at rest, while also helping to mitigate the loss of testosterone. Use running or another type of cardio, such as cycling or rowing, and complete a short bout of 30 seconds to 4 minutes at a very high intensity.
A pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, so if you hit this 1,000-calorie deficit every day, you could lose 2 pounds a week. Repeat, alternating between high and low intensity for the 30- to 60-minute duration of your workout.
6 Your 11-Month-Old Healthy Start, Grow Smart 7 Your 11-Month-Old Healthy Start, Grow Smart 26 Your 11-Month-Old continued Plan ahead Plan menus a week or more in advance. 6 Your 12-Month-Old Healthy Start, Grow Smart 7 Your 12-Month-Old Health and Safety … Fetch Full SourceC M Y CM MY CY CMY K Sample Menus For Your ChildHow can I get my child interested in eating healthy foods? Created by University of Georgia students enrolled in a collaborative study 1 paper cut out of color wheel (provide at the bottom of lesson plan) per child.



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