Anytime the topic of childhood obesity (or adult obesity, for that matter) comes up, the top two solutions are always diet and exercise. But here’s the problem. Even though everyone knows about diet and exercise, they just don’t work. Despite the scare tactics about eating right and getting off the couch, there are three factors that are actually much more successful.

So what does work? Turns out it’s all about routines. Specifically three of them:

  • Limiting tv and other screen time to two hours or less per day
  • Having meals together as a family at least five night per week
  • Putting the kids to bed earlier, the magic number  is 10 1/2 hours per night
According to the researcher, “just 14% of kids whose families practiced all three routines were obese, compared to 24% of kids whose families didn’t follow any of them.” All told, the three factors could reduce obesity risk by 40 %.
So if your child needs to take off a couple of pounds, spend a little less time worrying about food and working out, shut off the tv, have a nice family dinner,  and hit the sack a coupe of hours early. The best part of all is that even if your child doesn’t lose any weight, you’ll still be creating great family memories and strengthening your relationships with each other.