More Screen Time Could Help Fight Obesity

video games can help reduce obesity

It seems that whenever people talk about obesity, the topic of kids’ screen time comes up. And while it’s certainly possible that there’s a connection between a child’s weight and how much time he or she spends watching TV and playing video games, some fascinating research is finding that technology—as long as it’s the right kind—might also help kids combat obesity and better manage their weight. If you’ve ever played one of the sports games on XBox/Kinect, you know just how sweaty video games can get you. Here are three examples of how this works:
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Eating Disorders and Weak Bones: Not Just for Girls

boys can have anorexia and other eating disorders too

Dear Mr. Dad: As a child, my son used to be quite a bit overweight—his pediatrician said he was borderline obese. About a year ago, though, he started losing weight. He looked great and seemed happier with himself. But he kept on losing weight, long after he needed to. Thinking he might be ill, we took him to the doctor who couldn’t find any medial issues. After another few months, he was absolutely emaciated. His pediatrician did a bunch of tests but still couldn’t find anything wrong. The daughter of some good friends of ours had anorexia and was in a treatment facility for a while. I asked the doctor whether our son could possibly have an eating disorder but he said boys don’t get it. Is he right?

A: Might be time for a new pediatrician. Even though we think of eating disorders as affecting only girls, the fact is that about a third of the country’s 30-million people who suffer from one are male. Unfortunately, there are a number of issues that make it very difficult for these boys and young men to get the help they desperately need. First, most medical professionals—like your son’s pediatrician—don’t even consider it. Even mental health professionals, who really should know better, have a tough time acknowledging it. The American Psychiatric Association, for example, has a nice section on its website devoted to eating disorders, but if you look at the list of symptoms of anorexia, the first one is “Menstrual periods cease.” So, almost by definition, there’s no way a boy could possibly be anorexic. The second symptom—“Osteopenia or osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) through loss of calcium”—is yet another condition that’s generally considered to be a women’s condition.

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Can Weight Training Save Your Child’s Life? Could Be…

Dear Mr. Dad: My 9-year old son is sports obsessed and quite athletic. He’s involved in one sport or another all year long, and he recently told my wife and me that he wants to start lifting weights. Is it safe for kids that young to do weight training?

A: When I was about your son’s age, there were two things I really wanted to do: lift weights and throw a curve ball. I was told that both activities would do serious, irreparable, long-term damage: that throwing curves would strain my elbow and destroy my joints, and that lifting weights would stunt my growth. Several decades later, conventional wisdom has changed on both fronts. Curve balls, researchers now say, aren’t dangerous—but they aren’t necessarily safe either. More about the curve in a future column. But when it comes to kids pumping iron, there’s been a 180-degree change.

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New Diabetes Prescription + Be the Mom + Sergeant Major of the Army + Nat Mil Fam Assn

[amazon asin=098254412X&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 1: Aaron Snyder, author of The New Diabetes Prescription.
Topic: Taking control of your diabetes—instead of having it control you.
Issues: Is it possible to cure or reverse diabetes? How you can stabilize you blood sugar, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, lose weight, regain energy, control your emotional eating, and get off as much medication as possible.


[amazon asin=1589976843&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 2: Tracey Lanter Eyster, author of Be the Mom.
Topic: Overcome attitude traps and enjoy your kids.
Issues: Seven “mom traps” that moms often fall into (martyr moms, busy moms, mirror moms, and more); how to avoid and escape those traps in your own life.

Interviews with:

  • Guests 3: Sergeant Major of the Army, Raymond F. Chandler III, and Jeanne Chandler
  • Guest 4: Michelle Joyner, National Military Family Associationwww.militaryfamily.org/



Overweight men: If you want to slim down, ditch the girls and hang out with the guys

Men who want to lose weight shed twice the pounds in guy-only groups than they do in co-ed and female-dominated groups. Turns out that men are just as uncomfortable discussing their body as women are.

My entire post on this topic is at the Talking Men’s Health Blog. You should read it here.

 

Sometimes it’s better NOT to talk about your weight

Making comments like “I’m fat” predicts higher levels of depression and lower body satisfaction, a new study finds

Washington, DC (March 22, 2012)- Commenting that you think you are fat may be hazardous to your mental health. Engaging in “fat talk”—the ritualistic conversations about one’s own or others’ bodies—predicts lower satisfaction with one’s body and higher levels of depression, finds a new study recently published online in the National Communication Association’s Journal of Applied Communication Research.

“These results suggest that expressing weight-related concerns, which is common especially among women, has negative effects,” said the study’s lead author, Analisa Arroyo, a Ph.D. student in communication at the University of Arizona, Tucson. “We found that fat talk predicts changes in depression, body satisfaction, and perceived pressure to be thin across time.”

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