Thursday, April 14, 2011

Save Our Children: No more "Obeldickses" - Lifestyle Intervention, Not Rigorous Dieting Key to Solving Childhood Obesity

What is good for adults cannot be bad for children!? Right so in the case of turning a sedentary life upside down: Changing the lifestyle, i.e. eating and exercise habits of overweight children (8 year olds) produced profound and above all persistent (>12 month) improvements in body weight, fat mass, waist circumference, and blood pressure!

In a recent report (Schaefer. 2011) on what the German scientists felicitously called the "Obeldicks" program (with reference to the obese Gaul from the famous comic book series),  Schaefer et. al. report the results of a large scale intervention program with 76 obese children and their parents. The program was based on three-pillar-strategy:
  • physical activity training, 
  • nutrition education, 
  • and behavior counseling 
And the beneficial and more importantly lasting (>12 month follow up) effects it had on the participants should make it pretty clear that in a society, where pathological eating & movement patterns (driving to McDonalds, eating the SuperSizeMenue right in your car) become the norm, profound lifestyle changes are the only sustainable way to lose weight, improve or maintain health and promote long jeopardy.

So, if you want to die from diabetes, cancer or heart disease (you chose your favorite) in 10 years from now, that is your choice, BUT be fair and give your children the education and advice they need to get their acts together, they probably still have the chance.