Experts think the fight against childhood obesity should focus on pregnancy and infants. Children who are already obese need help and can overcome obesity.
The article, “Childhood Obesity Intervenions Must Begin Early, Experts Say,” (Science Daily, April 15, 2010), states that almost one in three American children over the age of two are obese. According to the CDC, these children will go on to become Type II diabetics.
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Help for Obese Children – Fears that it is Too Late
Scientists have criticized the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” program, that targets school-age children, as being too late. They say programs must begin at pregnancy and birth. Another disturbing study demonstrates that rats that are raised on a diet of junk food with rather starve than eat healthy food. The study, presented at the October 20, 2008 Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting by Paul Johnson & Paul Kenny of the Scripps Institute stated that junk food is as addictive as Heroin.
Help for Obese Children – Kid Friendly Information Sources
It does not follow automatically that human children cannot overcome addiction to junk food. Parents or youth themselves can take action to transition back to healthy foods.
There are numerous websites with kid-friendly information and interactive tools that educate children about healthy foods.
Tough Love from an Unexpected Source – Motivation to Reverse Obesity
The book Skinny Bitch, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, (Philadelphia, Running Press, © 2005) is a short, hard-nosed book about nutrition aimed at an audience of young women who are junk food addicts. Replete with four letter words (the only “F” word being “fat,)” the book is a no-nonsense warning to young people that if they eat “pooh-pooh,” (in harsher terms), they will become “pooh-pooh.”
The authors support the theory that junk food is addictive, but they reveal no sympathy for the addict. As tough as football coaches, they push and prod readers with an old-fashioned bottom-line – that if you eat junk food, you are going to be fat, and that you can definitely reverse this behavior.
Help for Obese Children – It is Definitely Not Too Late
Aside from political issues discussed in Skinny Bitch, the book is about eating right, written in a “smart mouth” language that hits young adults where they live. Underneath, there is a sense of urgency, caring and a strong message that young people can overcome obesity, change their lives, look beautiful inside and out, and regain the precious gift of health.
We Can Reverse Junk Food Addiction and Childhood Obesity
The nutritional message of Skinny Bitch is essentially the same as Don Colbert’s book, Eat This And Live, (Lake Mary, FL, Siloam, ©1998), a Christian approach to eating healthy food. Skinny Bitch admonishes readers to eat fresh, natural food, and to avoid processed food, fast food and junk food.
“Anything worth having is worth fighting for,” state Freedman and Barnouin. Readers are advised never to give up the fight. Above all, they affirm that love of junk food can be reversed to love for pure, fresh food. “What if you could reprogram your brain to actually enjoy healthy foods,” they write, “Well guess what? You can…” If young adults can succeed, children and teens can also.
Reversing Junk Food Addiction for Children Who Are Obese
The book states that the brain responds to food, with dopamine which makes us feel good. This was originally intended for survival. However, Heroin, cocaine, and sadly, chocolate, sugar and fat trigger the same mechanism. “So we are physiologically addicted to food,” they state.
But the good news is we can experience the same ecstasy when eating broccoli – “The trick is resetting our memory traces to feel pleasure from healthy food, and no pleasure from of junk food.” The authors continue with advice on just how to accomplish this.
Helping Obese Children by Applying These Principles
This book is not for children, or even teens. But it contains strong simple messages, such as “Healthy = skinny,” “Unhealthy = fat,” and “sugar is the devil,” that need be conveyed to kids. It might save a generation if someone were to sit down and re-write this book for an audience of obese children or to beg the authors to adapt the book for children and teens.
Help for Obese Children – Childhood Obesity Can be Reversed
Information is plentiful, but motivational materials are hard to find. Dwelling on studies that suggest that junk food addiction may be irreversible does not help. Parents and others who are concerned for obese children must step up and motivate these children. Above all, they must be absolutely positive that childhood obesity can be reversed.