Thursday, March 22, 2012

How to Best Help Your Child Lose Weight

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Want Your Child to Lose Weight?

Lose Weight Yourself!

A study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and The University of Minnesota indicates that a parent’s weight change is a key contributor to the success of a child’s weight loss in family-based treatment of childhood obesity.

The researchers looked at 80 parent-child groups with an 8 to 12-year-old overweight or obese child, who participated in a parent-only or parent + child treatment program for five months.

The study focused on evaluating the impact of three types of parenting skills taught in family-based behavioral treatment for childhood obesity, and the impact of each on the child’s body weight: the parent modeling behaviors to promote their own weight loss, changes in home food environment, and parenting style and techniques (for example, a parent’s ability to help limit the child’s eating behavior, encouraging the child and participating in program activities).

Consistent with previously published research, parent BMI change was the only significant predictor of child’s weight loss.

The researchers concluded that clinicians should focus on encouraging parents to lose weight to help their overweight or obese child in weight management.

The most important predictor of child weight loss

“The number one way in which parents can help an obese child lose weight? Lose weight themselves,” said Kerri N. Boutelle, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at UC San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.

“Parents are the most significant people in a child’s environment, serving as the first and most important teachers,” said Boutelle “They play a significant role in any weight-loss program for children, and this study confirms the importance of their example in establishing healthy eating and exercise behaviors for their kids.”

The above story is based on the March 14, 2012 news release by the University of California, San Diego.

The research were published today in the advanced online edition of Obesity, the official journal of The Obesity Society: Kerri N. Boutelle, Guy Cafri and Scott Crow. Parent Predictors of Child Weight Change in Family-Based Behavioral Obesity Treatment. Obesity, 2012 DOI: 10.1038/oby.2012.48

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