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Research Supports First Lady's Childhood Obesity Initiative

First Lady Michelle Obama announced yesterday an initiative to reverse rising levels of childhood obesity - and scientific research from the American College of Sports Medicine backs up the strategies related to physical activity in her "Let's Move" campaign. Multiple studies published in ACSM's official scientific journal confirm that higher levels of activity - important in combating obesity - have positive effects for children beyond just weight management. Perhaps the most encouraging research finds that the most active kids also fare the best in school. In one study of more than 200 middle-schoolers, students who participated in vigorous physical activity after school earned better grades on their report cards.

Mexican Americans Closest To Making Physical Activity Goals

When it comes to meeting national health goals for physical activity, Mexican-Americans are the most active group in America and may benefit from exercise that researchers typically have not measured, according to research by scholars at the University of Chicago and Arizona State University. The new research, which used electronic devices to measure people's movement, challenges other studies based on self-reports that claimed non-Hispanic whites are most likely to be physically active. The researchers found that nearly 27 percent of Mexican-Americans met a national goal of getting at least 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week or vigorous activity for 20 minutes at least three days a week;

American Diabetes Association Applauds First Lady Michelle Obama's Childhood Obesity Campaign

The American Diabetes Association applauds First Lady Michelle Obama's childhood obesity campaign Let's Move! America's Move for a Healthier Generation. The Association was present during today's announcement at the White House. Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. If current trends in childhood obesity continue, nearly one in three American children born in the year 2000 (and one in two minorities) will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. Diabetes is a leading cause of heart attack, stroke, blindness, amputation, and kidney disease, as well as death. Diabetes costs our country more than $174 billion a year. "Diabetes is both personally devastating and extraordinarily costly, " commented Richard Bergenstal, MD, President, Medicine & Science, American Diabetes Association.

The Impact On Children Of Food Product Placements In The Movies

New research from the Hood Center for Children and Families at Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) for the first time sheds light on the significant potential negative impact that food product placements in the movies could be having on children. The study, which appears in the current edition of the journal Pediatrics, shows that most of the "brand placements" for food, beverage, and food retail establishments that are frequently portrayed in movies, are for energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods or product lines. In addition, the study shows for the first time that product placements in movies may be a far more potent source of advertising to children in terms of food choices than previously understood.

Austrailia Winning The War On Weight

Monash University-led nationwide study into the health beliefs and behaviours of obese people has found that the more severely obese a person is, the less likely they feel they can reduce their weight. The research, funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Grant Scheme, is the first of its kind in Australia. 141 obese Australians were extensively interviewed to try to gauge how they perceived their weight and ability to manage it. Co-author and Head of Monash University's Consumer Health Research Group (CHaRGe) Dr Samantha Thomas said those in the severely obese category with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 40, blamed themselves for their weight and often described themselves as at war with their bodies.

Family Meals, Adequate Sleep And Limited TV May Lower Childhood Obesity

A new national study suggests that preschool-aged children are likely to have a lower risk for obesity if they regularly engage in one or more of three specific household routines: eating dinner as a family, getting adequate sleep and limiting their weekday television viewing time. In a large sample of the U.S. population, the study showed that 4-year-olds living in homes with all three routines had an almost 40 percent lower prevalence of obesity than did children living in homes that practiced none of these routines. Other studies have linked obesity to the individual behaviors of excessive TV viewing, a lack of sleep and, to a lesser extent, a low frequency of family meals.

Questions Remain On Bariatric Surgery For Adolescents

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery can effectively treat obesity in adolescents and seems to offer a better alternative than gastric bypass surgery, but further study is needed to determine whether it's better than nonsurgical options, a UT Southwestern Medical Center surgeon writes in an editorial in the Feb. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. "The latest research helps us define which surgical procedure may be preferable, but we are still a long way from settling the question of whether surgery should be used to treat obesity in teens, " said Dr. Edward Livingston, chief of GI/endocrine surgery at UT Southwestern.

Michelle Obama Launches Combat Childhood Obesity Campaign

At the White House on Tuesday, US President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum establishing a task force to address the nation's growing childhood obesity epimedic, turned to his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama and said "it's done honey", and she replied "now we work". The Taking on Childhood Obesity task force is part of the First Lady's Let's Move campaign to bring together public and private sectors within a generation to help children become more active in their daily lives and have a healthier diet so that children born today reach adulthood at a healthy weight. The task force has 90 days in which to prepare a plan and submit it to the President.

Fiction Can Inspire Teen Girls To Manage Weight

Girls enrolled in a healthy lifestyles program had more success reducing their body mass index (BMI) percentile if they read a book with a fictional character as a role model, according to the study, "A 'Novel' Intervention: A Pilot Study of Children's Literature and Healthy Lifestyles, " published in the March issue of Pediatrics (appearing online February 8). Researchers studied 81 obese girls enrolled in a program providing lifestyle and obesity management counseling in a clinical office setting. Some girls were given a book featuring an overweight girl who, through her adventures, improves her self-esteem and learns about nutrition and physical activity.

Effects Of Family Meals, Sleeping And Screen Time On Obesity In Preschoolers - American Academy Of Pediatrics

Preschool children exposed to three household routines -- regularly eating family meals, getting adequate sleep, and limiting screen-viewing time -- had a roughly 40 percent lower prevalence of obesity than those exposed to none of these routines. The study, "Household Routines and Obesity in U.S. Preschool-Aged Children, " published in the March issue of Pediatrics (appearing online Feb. 8), involved a cross-sectional analysis of 8, 550 4-year-old U.S. children in which researchers examined the association between childhood obesity and three household routines. Eighteen percent of all the children in the study were obese. Among those exposed to all three household routines, the prevalence of obesity was 14.

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