New Study Connects Sleep Habits with Childhood Obesity
As an ardent crusader to stop childhood obesity, I’ll take every opportunity I can to give you information and ideas to help keep your children at a normal, healthy weight. This information is the result of a recent study at the University of South Australia. It’s safe to presume Australian kids are just like American kids, so…
Kids who go to bed early and get up early are less likely to become obese than those who do not, according to an Australian study released Friday.
Children who went to bed late and got up late were 1.5 times more likely to become obese than those who went to bed early and got up early, researchers from the University of South Australia found.
Kids who stayed up late were also almost twice as likely to be physically inactive and 2.9 times more likely to sit in front of the TV or play video games for more hours than guidelines recommend.
It Makes Sense
The researchers concluded that mornings were more conducive to physical activity than nights, as kids were often distracted with prime-time TV and other sedentary activities in the evening. Sound familiar? If we’re going to turn this childhood-obesity problem around, we need parents to care enough about the well-being of their kids to step up their parenting when it comes to nutrition and physical activity.
Make It A Family Affair
“It” is healthy eating and exercise. You’re in control of what your kids (newborn to teens, at least) eat and, to a great extent, how they spend their time. Involve your kids in meal preparation; let them help you find healthy recipes they think they’d like. Engage them in the kitchen and talk about good nutrition. Remind them of the consequences of poor eating habits (but not at the expense of others who are dealing with the problem), encourage them to try new, healthy options for snacks. Take walks as a family in the evenings. Hold games and relay races for kids in your neighborhood; get other parents to participate in organizing. Not only will you know what your kids are up to in the afternoons and evenings, you’ll also know the activity is good for them! Resistant kids? What a surprise. Just remind yourself who’s the parent…
Starting from Birth
In an earlier post, I offered this recommendation from recent British government studies:
That gets babies moving, and Corner Stork is here to help in the “sleep” department (not that newborns don’t get plenty of sleep!) You’ll find lots of adorable sleep-time layette sets among our Baby Clothes, including the ultra-adorable “Big Dreamzzz” Baby MD (a great Halloween costume, too!) Get your children into good sleeping, eating and exercise habits, and, throughout their lives, they’ll require fewer MD visits! Happy Hump Day!