Wake-up call to parents: Children’s fast food meals to avoid

Hardees Kids Meal

Hardees Kids Meal (Photo credit: nibaq)

Reblogged:from Huffington Post                                                                                Wake-up call to parents: Children’s fast food meals to avoidLet’s face it: we all love fast food kids’ meals. Kids love them for the toys and packaging; parents love them because they’re easy and convenient. Plus, when they include apples and cheese, they have some nutritional value, right?Well, not exactly, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. According to PCRM, the meals are loaded with sugar and  sodium, and really offer very little nutritional value. They’ve come out with a list of the 5 worst “healthy” fast food kids’ meals. See if some of your favorites are on the list, but remember, the best  advice…everything in moderation.                                                                                                                                                                                           The Committee says that certain fast  food kids’ meals marketed as “healthy” are anything but. “Frankly,  passing off these meals as ‘healthy’ ought to be a crime at a time when 16.9 million American children and adolescents are obese,”  says  PCRM president Dr. Neal Barnard. “The focus on junk food targeted to  kids is important, given how miserably the fast-food industry has failed to live up to its promise of self-regulation.” Here Is a link to the video http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/wake-up-call-to-parents-worst-fast-food-kids-meals-that-will-surprise-you.html  How often do you treat your kids to fast food meals?                                                                                                                           Eating, Fast food, Food, Happy Meal, Health, Healthy Ways to Lose Weight, Human nutrition, International Food Information Council, Kids’ meal, McDonald, Neal D. Barnard, Obesity, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, United States, Weight, Weight Loss Tips, weight tips

Turkey fights back at ballooning weight gain

In Turkey, the land of kebab and sweet lokum, expanding waistlines are the target of a new anti-obesity campaign by the government to help one million Turks slim down over the next year.

The numbers are staggering: a little over one out of every three people is obese, according to health ministry figures. Even more when it comes to women.

The fight against obesity starts now,” say publicity spots rolled out by the ministry to push back against lifestyle changes doctors believe are bulking up the 73 million population.

“Modern-day life has set constraints that make us eat faster and more without paying attention to the quality of the food we’re ingesting,” said pediatrician Murat Tuncer, a specialist in blood disorders.

But on the upside, he added, as a Mediterranean country Turkey has all the vegetables, fruit and fish required for a healthy diet.

The ministry sounded the alarm on the problem last month.

“Thirty-five percent of the population is obese,” said Health Minister Rep Akdag, who himself recently set an example by losing 10 kilograms (22 pounds) and recommends a walking regime of 10,000 steps a day.

With more and more Turks in treatment for obesity-triggered diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, the government has started pushing health and dietary tactics, along with the television and newspaper ads, to urge Turks to eat less and work to lose weight.

Over the summer, family doctors will distribute pedometers, so people can record their walking distance, and monitor the progress of their overweight patients.

And in a change introduced July 1, bread is now sold with less salt and more whole-wheat flour, making it richer in fibre, a key change for a country where bread is a mainstay of the national diet,

To prevent childhood obesity, Turkish television will only air adverts for healthy food and a balanced diet.

The campaign comes at a time when obesity — recognised since 1997 as a disease by the World Health Organisation (WHO) — is increasingly a global issue.

A person is considered overweight if his body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight, is over 25, while a BMI over 30 qualifies one as obese.

A study published in June by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and based on 2005 figures, showed that 74 percent of the North American population was overweight, with 56 percent in Europe, 29 percent in Africa and 24 percent in Asia.

“The average (weight) is increasing everywhere. Everybody is getting fatter, even the thin people are getting fatter,” co-author Ian Roberts told AFP at the time.

In Turkey, the world’s 17th biggest economy, the number of people treated for diabetes has gone up 90 percent in 12 years, said Yunus Yavuz, a specialist in metabolic diseases.

But there is hope.

Obesity is a preventable disease. It’s enough to slim down to extend your life expectancy and quality of life,” Yavuz said.

And for those with extreme BMI, surgery is always an option. Thirty-four year-old Gullah Bulbul recently went in for a gastrectomy after weighing in at 147 kilograms.

“Whenever I entered a clothes store, they would tell me, ‘there is nothing here for you,” she said after the surgery.

“I wasn’t suffering from a physical problem but a psychological one,” she added

Body mass index, diet, Diet (nutrition), Dieting, dieting programs, Eating, Fitness, Health, Healthy Ways to Lose Weight, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Nutrition, Obesity, Physical exercise, Recep Akdağ, Top Weight loss, Turkey, Turkish people, Weight, Weight Loss Tips, World Health Organization

Obesity Might Hinder Treatment of Some Breast Cancers

 Reblogged:from Yahoo News                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     British researchers looked at 54 postmenopausal women with estrogen  receptor-positive breast cancer, meaning that the tumor may grow in the  presence of estrogen. More than three-quarters of breast cancers require  estrogen to grow, so blocking the production or action of estrogen is one  of the main ways to treat the disease.Breast cancer awareness

The researchers found that obese breast cancer patients had higher  levels of estrogen than women of normal weight.

The women in the study also were compared according to their body-mass  index (BMI). BMI is a measure of obesity based on height and weight, and a  BMI of 30 is considered the threshold for obesity. Women with a BMI of 30  to 35 had about three times higher levels of estrogen in their blood than  those with a BMI of less than 25, the researchers reported July 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

After treatment with hormone-suppressing drugs, estrogen levels in the obese women dropped significantly, but still remained at more than double  the levels seen in women of normal weight.

The researchers emphasized that women undergoing breast cancer  treatment should not be concerned by the findings. They also said the  study results may lead to improvements in doctors’ ability to select the  best treatment for overweight and obese breast cancer patients.

“Our findings are based on laboratory studies, so we would need to  carry out clinical trials to tell us whether women with a higher BMI would  benefit from changes to their treatment,” study senior author Mitch  Dowsett, a team leader in the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre  at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, said in an institute news  release.

“Women with higher BMI should certainly not be alarmed by this finding  or stop taking their treatment,” he said. “[However], our study takes us a  step closer to understanding which of the treatment options available  might be the most suitable for individual women.”

Our Friends’ Weight Influences Our Weight Gain and Loss

My friend

My friend (Photo credit: Scarleth White)

Reblogged: from  Scientific   American                                                                                           Our Friends‘ Weight Influences Our Weight Gain and Loss.Research finds that who we socialize with can influence our eating behavior.                                                                                                                                                                     People who hang out with friends heavier than they are tend to gain weight. Those who socialize with leaner friends tend to maintain their weight, or even lose a few pounds.                                                                                                                                                                        But why?                                                                                                                                                                           Is it that friends influence our behavior? Or do we simply tend to have friends that resemble ourselves—the birds of a feather flock together effect.To find out, researchers looked at students from two high schools. One school is rural and mostly white. The other is urban, with a racially mixed student body. The researchers analyzed the students’ body mass and social networks.They found that overweight students who have lean friends had a 40 percent chance of dropping weight within a year, versus only a 27 percent chance of gaining weight during that time. But if borderline obese students had obese friends there was a 56 percent chance that they’d gain weight during the year, and only a 15 percent chance they’d drop some pounds. The finding is in the journal Public Library of Science ONE.

The researchers conclude that social influence is indeed a big factor in weight loss and gain. Because you’re not what you eat—you’re who you eat with.                                                             Fitness, Health, Healthy Ways to Lose Weight, Human nutrition, Obesity, Percentage, Physical exercise, PLoS ONE, Social influence, Student, Students’ union, Weight, Weight gain, weight loss

Court Rules Obese Dad ‘Unfit’ to Parent, Kids Placed Up for Adoption

 WOW, I can’t even believe this, Court Rules Obese Dad ‘Unfit’ to Parent, Kids Placed Up for Adoption

 Check out this news article I read on Shine from Yahoo                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I don’t think the court system should have the right to take someones children away because of their weight.Unless of course the children were in danger or neglected or something. Sence when Does a weight problem make you an unfit parent? That’s what one dad who lost custody of kids fears. The 360-pound father of two claims his size affected the court’s decision to turn his kids over to the state.
The 38-year-old Ottawa man, whose identity is protected by Canada’s Child and Family Services Act, plans to appeal a decision to place his two young sons, ages five and six, up for adoption.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In an exclusive interview with Canada’s CTV he claimed family court medical advisers were concerned he was “too fat, and couldn’t keep up with my children.” 
For the past year, the boys have been in foster care, taken from their mother’s home after her suspected overdose and mental breakdown. Because of their father’s history of legal problems stemming from accounts of public fights and threats, they were placed in the care of the Children’s Aid Society.
But over the course of a year, the father has been trying to rectify his past and earn the right to care for his own children. While he admits he hasn’t been a model parent on paper, he’s convinced it’s his struggle with obesity, not his past anger issues, that’s left him childless.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Obese Dad ‘Unfit’ to Parent, Kids
While the judge in the case hasn’t released an official statement, a doctor’s report submitted to the court backs up the dad’s claim. The assessment by a clinic adviser warns the man has “struggled with obesity for years, which impacts significantly on most aspects of his life including [his] functioning as a parent.” It continues: “He was short of breath or winded in simply walking short distances about the clinic and he lacks both the mobility and stamina required to keep up with young and active children.”
But since his custody battle began, the father claims to have already lost 150 pounds and hopes to lose more. Weight shouldn’t be the deciding factor in whether a person can parent, claims the dad, though he does believe in living a healthier lifestyle.

ABC News, Canada, Child and family services, Children’s Aid Society, Father, Foster care, Health, Healthy Ways to Lose Weight, Human nutrition, Loss Weight, Obesity, Ottawa, Physical exercise, Weight, Weight Loss Tips

Anti-obesity proposal fails again at McDonald’s

   Reblogged: from Yahoo News 

McDonalds Happy Meal

McDonalds Happy Meal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anti obesity proposal fails again at McDonald’s                             OAKBROOK, Ill., May 24 – McDonald’s Corp investors soundly rejected a shareholder proposal that would have required the worlds biggest fast-food chain to assess its impact on childhood obesity.
The subject was a major topic of discussion at Thursday’s annual shareholder meeting, which also served as a send-off for retiring Chief Executive Jim Skinner – whose nearly eight years at the helm will be remembered as a time when the price of McDonald’s stock tripled.The shareholder proposal, which also failed last year, returned amid growing concern over the social and financial costs of obesity in the United States and around the world – not only in terms of healthcare-related expenses but also lower worker productivity and diminished quality of life.

Nearly one-third of U.S. children are overweight or obese. America is one of the fattest nations on earth, and the Institute of Medicine, in a 2006 report requested by Congress, said junk food marketing contributes to an epidemic of childhood obesity that continues to rise. The institute is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences.

McDonald’s executives on Thursday defended the brand and its advertising.

“We’re proud of the changes we’ve made to our menu. We’ve done more than anybody in the industry around fruits and vegetables and variety and choice,” said Skinner, who will retire on June 30 and who received a standing ovation from investors.


McDonalds (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)


As one of the largest and most influential companies in the restaurant industry, McDonald’s often bears the brunt of criticism from consumers, parents and healthcare professionals, who want it to serve healthier food and curb its marketing to children.

While the chain has added food like salads, oatmeal and smoothies to its menu, it has pulled ahead of rivals and delivered outsized returns for investors with help from its core lineup of fatty food and sugary drinks.

Corporate Accountability International, a business watchdog group, for the second year in a row backed the obesity proposal, which was endorsed by 2,500 pediatricians, cardiologists and other healthcare professionals.

It called on the company to issue a report on its “health footprint.” The document would evaluate how diet-related illness would affect McDonald’s profit.

In the time since the last shareholder vote, McDonald’s has changed the contents of its popular Happy Meals for children – reducing the french fry portion by more than half and automatically including apples in every meal.

It also won the dismissal of a lawsuit that sought to stop the company from using free toys to promote its Happy Meals for children in California.

Dr Andrew Bremer, a pediatric endocrinologist and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, presented the proposal at the meeting and said McDonald’s has chosen to employ “countless new PR tactics” that create a perception of change while “unreasonably” exposing shareholders to significant risk.

“It is not enough to point to so-called healthier menu items when children are still the target of aggressive marketing of an overwhelming unhealthy brand,” Bremer said.

McDonald’s board of directors recommended a “no” vote on the proposal, calling it “unnecessary and redundant.”

Shareholders heeded that call. The proposal received 6.4 percent of votes in support, up from 5.6 percent a year ago.

Incoming CEO Don Thompson, who said his two children eat at McDonald’s, was forceful in his response to questions from Corporate Accountability representatives.

“I would never do anything to hurt them or any other children, nor would we as a corporation … Do me the honor, and our entire organization, of not associating us with doing something that is damaging to children. We have been very responsible,” Thompson said.

McDonald’s stock was down 0.5 percent at $91.03 on Thursday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting By Lisa Baertlein; editing by Matthew Lewis)

Calorie, Carbohydrate, diet, Dieting, dieting programs, Eating, Fitness, Food, Health, Healthy Ways to Lose Weight, Human nutrition,

How to Improve Body Image and Self-Esteem in Overweight Teens


Adolescence (Photo credit: kevinthoule)

I thought this was Important Info for our Teens dealing with weight issues. I found this also on Yahoo Health so I wanted to share. If you have a teen struggling with low self-esteem due to their weight  here are some ways you can help them.Overweight teens who have a higher body satisfaction and positive body image also tend to have higher self-esteem, and are less prone to engage in unhealthy behaviors to control their weight (such as vomiting and missing meals).So says a new study that will be included in the Journal of Adolescent Health in June 2012.“A focus on enhancing self-image while providing motivation and skills to engage in effect weight-control behaviors may help protect young girls from feelings of depression, anxiety or anger sometimes association with being overweight,” said Kerri Boutelle, an associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, in a press release.

Experts have some suggestions for how parents can help their overweight teens improve their body image in order to potentially prevent any negative psychological or emotional issues.

Ragen Chastain, a dancer, choreographer, speaker, “fat person” and writer of the blog Dances With Fat, said in an email that there is one main way parents can help their teens have a high body satisfaction.

“Take the focus off of weight and put it on health,” Chastain said.

“By taking a health-focused approach, kids see healthy behaviors as ways to feel good and nurture their bodies, and they succeed every time they engage in a healthy behavior, and develop a lifelong love of healthy foods and movement (instead of seeing healthy behaviors as punishment for being fat or a way to keep from becoming fat, and judging their success or failure based on a scale.)”

She said in general she believes overweight adolescents tend to have more issues with healthy self-esteem and body image.

“Kids don’t separate themselves from their bodies, so you cannot have a ‘war on childhood obesity’ without having a war on obese kids,” Chastain said.

“These teens are the casualties of that war. When Michelle Obama says that she wants to eradicate childhood obesity in a generation, obese kids hear that she wants to eradicate them.”

She added that research suggests that in most cases, “weight control behaviors led to eating disorders and obesity, but did not lead to normal weight teens or adults.” However, this insistence on certain weight loss behaviors is still prevalent.

“Kids don’t take care of things they hate, and that includes their bodies, so any health intervention that includes body shame is going to create self-esteem and body image issues,” Chastain said.

“Meanwhile studies show that healthy habits lead to healthy bodies of many shapes and sizes. We are doing it wrong, it’s time to be honest about that and shift the focus to a health-centered approach.”

She said that according to research, since there has been a focus on children’s weight in the past few years, there has been an increase in hospitalizations for eating disorders in children.

She added that girls seem to have a few different challenges than boys when it comes to their body acceptance.

“They are sold the message that they should judge their beauty by whether or not boys like them/want to have sex with them, and boys are sold the idea that fat women are ugly, disgusting, lazy, unhealthy etc.,” Chastain said.

Janet Zinn, a licensed clinical social worker, said in an email that parents need to start with their own body image issues in order to help their children. Here are her suggestions:

  1. “First, and most importantly do not speak poorly of your own body. Children pick up these behaviors and deem it acceptable because you are doing it. Learn to love or accept your own body, and it will be easier for your daughter to accept hers.”
  2. “If you have spoken ill of your own body in the past, let her know you’re learning to change that and perhaps you can work on that together to support one another to only say kind things to each other and about yourselves.”

She said overweight teens seem to have more self-esteem and body acceptance issues because of how our society is, and once a focus on thinness changes, so will the issues that overweight teens have.

“The only reason overweight teens may have more issues is because our society perpetuates unhealthy and unrealistic expectations of one super skinny body fits all,” Zinn said.

“When we can embrace diversity in size, and appreciate the beauty of difference, then the messages that go out to teens will alter their negative self-esteem.”

Some teens may also be overweight due to emotional eating, which only adds to the negativity they feel.

“Some teens may eat as a way to soothe internal suffering,” Zinn said. “If that is the case, they are already feeling bad, and the negative messages they receive from others about their bodies only increases their pain, especially when they are already feeling fragile.”

Michelle Phillips, the author of “The Beauty Blueprint: 8 Steps to Building the Life and Look of Your Dreams,” said it’s important to have teens value themselves outside of their bodies.

“The girls who are happy with their bodies are happy inside,” Phillips said.

“Work with your teens to build their self-esteem by focusing on their qualities that aren’t physical; their hearts, minds, and spirits. Big or small, these are the qualities of true beauty that no one can take from you.”

She said there is a lot of pressure to be perfect from the media, and overweight teens don’t take this message lightly.

“What they don’t know is that there is no such thing as perfect,” Phillips said.

“As a celebrity makeup artist who has worked with some of the top names in modeling and entertainment, I know how much goes into [making] them appear perfect and how they really feel about themselves. We are all perfect in our own way and need to learn to celebrate our so-called perfect and imperfect qualities. Think of this, perfect copies have no value, but ‘originals’ are priceless.”

Lyn Hicks, a “living green expert,” said in an email that just encouraging teens to dance and do yoga can improve how they feel about themselves. She said women in general, and teens who are overweight, tend to be disconnected from their bodies and engage in emotional eating. However, by dancing they can learn to connect to their bodies again.

“It helps emotions move without thinking about it, negative energy is released easily through movement, it helps our self-esteem, our sense of beauty, gets us out of our head, and of course will help us physically because dancing is a work out,” Hicks said.

“It is a wonderful starting place to offer a teen such a simple practice.”

Shafonne Myers, a certified wedding and event planner who has a plus-size bride website and print magazine, added in an email that overweight teens need to be informed that success comes at all sizes in order to help their body image and self-esteem issues.

“Parents have to help children understand that they are not alone and that there are other people, celebrities and such, that are larger and they are still successful and doing well,” Myers said.

“Being plus size all my life, I was always brought up to realize that I am who I am and I’m beautiful any way I was. I think this is what has let to my confidence and success.”

She thinks that low self-esteem and body image issues are not only reserved for overweight teens — skinny teens suffer too.

“I think the biggest point to emphasize is that people become more confident about their body types when they are exposed to people and situations where their body type is prevalent,” Myers said.

“We can’t expect an overweight person to be confident about their body type if they never see other people with that body type that they look up to or see as being successful. This is what translates to them that their body type is OK, thus building self-confidence.”                                                                                                                                                       Weight, weight loss, Weight Loss Tips, weight tips, Top Weight loss, Health, Eating, Nutrition, Fitness, Calorie, Obesity, Overweight, body image, Self-esteem, Michelle Obama, Michelle Phillips, Behavior