"After reviewing more than a dozen studies, the panel concluded that obese children who participated in moderate to high-intensity weight-management programs (frequently with their parents) for 25 or more hours over a six-month period often had improvements in their weight."
To me, the most important part of this sentence is the parenthetical phrase: frequently with their parents. This is the golden ticket.
Doctors and counselors and nutritionists can preach the benefits of healthy body weight and fitness, but how meaningful is it without mom and/or dad as a role model? I can only imagine how difficult it would be for a child to eat healthy and exercise if the parents aren't themselves eating healthy and exercising. How can we expect these kids to succeed?
I'm glad researchers are making news with their findings on childhood obesity, but I hope the parent-child connection can come out of the parenthesis and into the lead. Let's take some of the pressure off the kids and make healthy living a family affair.
I know Mama Sweat readers are already mentoring their own children in healthy living, just by virtue of being active themselves. That means you are part of the solution. When a problem is so big and pervasive we're all tempted to feel like we're not doing enough and to want to do more, but remember the power of one.
And beyond being a positive role model for our own children I'm fairly certain that in the process of raising fit kids we may unknowingly set an example for other parents. I believe good living is contagious. And I'm all in favor of spreading fitness germs.