Free Parents Guide to Listening to Kids About Healthy Food & Exercise

From Weight Watchers International and American Health Foundation



Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from Weight Watchers International and American Health Foundation

    NEW YORK, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- As the number of overweight children in
 the U.S. reaches epidemic proportions, there's plenty parents can do at home
 to reverse the trend by getting kids to eat better and rev-up their sedentary
 lifestyle.
     According to the Centers for Disease Control, one-in-four children in the
 U.S. is overweight or at risk of becoming overweight.  Just as alarming is the
 fact that more than half of the adult U.S. population is overweight,
 suggesting that many parents themselves may be poor examples when it comes to
 eating and activity.
     The fact that more kids than ever have a weight problem may also reflect a
 societal change where children are more independent and parents less involved
 in providing structure and guidance.  Despite the wealth of information now
 available to them, many parents simply don't know how to get their kids to eat
 right and exercise.
     To help parents be more effective as educators and role models, Weight
 Watchers International, in collaboration with the American Health Foundation,
 has published "Getting Kids to Eat Well & Be Active," a free 14-page color
 brochure which contains insights and tips for communicating effectively with
 children.  The printed brochure is available at participating Weight Watchers
 locations across the U.S., and it is posted in downloadable form on the
 Internet at WeightWatchers.com.  The American Health Foundation will also
 distribute the booklet to schools.
     "Talking to kids about eating and activity habits requires good
 communication skills," said Lawrence Siegel, Ph.D., Dean and Professor,
 Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, Albert Einstein
 School of Medicine.  "The manner in which you approach a child can matter as
 much as what you actually say, which is why this brochure aims to strengthen
 key skills in the areas of rapport building, being an effective role model,
 and creating a supportive home environment," he said.
     Partnership on the booklet leverages the strengths of two leading
 organizations devoted to good health.  Weight Watchers has unique expertise in
 helping people modify their behavior to live healthier lives.  Its members
 often share what they learn about nutrition and exercise at home with their
 family. The American Health Foundation, which is committed to research and
 education on disease prevention, gives the brochure important context by
 underscoring the myriad health risks associated with being overweight.
     "Getting Kids to Eat Well & Be Active" goes beyond isolated do's and
 don'ts to give parents a fresh perspective and actionable steps to promoting
 healthy habits and addressing unhealthy behaviors in the home.  By focusing on
 communication skills, the brochure hopes to empower parents as teachers and
 role models.
     "The obesity rates among young people should be a wake-up call to parents
 everywhere because overweight kids face a lifetime of preventable health
 problems," said Daniel Nixon, M.D., President, American Health Foundation.
 "Instilling good eating and activity habits can't start early enough, and
 parents need be remain active in shaping good habits throughout the formative
 years," he said.
     The fast-paced American way of life lends itself to overeating and too
 little exercise.  Super-sized portions have become the norm, snack foods
 abound, and convenience usually reigns supreme when it comes to preparing
 homemade meals.  A 1999 study from the Centers for Disease Control that found
 that youth are more sedentary than previous generations with only 29 percent
 of high school students attending physical education classes.  The study found
 that one-in-three children did not engage in vigorous physical activity on a
 regular basis.
     "The basic principles for healthy eating and exercise are the same for
 children and adults," said Myron Winick, M.D., Medical Director for Weight
 Watchers International, Inc.  "For kids who are already overweight, parents
 should focus on making eating and lifestyle changes that will prevent further
 weight gain.  It's important to address the behavioral roots of a child's
 weight problem because food alone is not the cause," she said.
     Currently approximately 675,000 people attend more than 20,000 meetings
 each week across North America.  To learn more about Weight Watchers and use
 the Meeting Finder, visit http://www.weightwatchers.com or for information
 about Weight Watchers meeting locations, call 1-800-651-6000.
 
                         Tips for Ensuring Healthy Kids
 
     1) Create a healthy home environment.  If children have healthful snack
        options, set eating schedules and available toys and sports, they are
        more likely to establish healthy habits.
 
     2) Familiarize yourself with your child's individual habits.  The better
        you understand your child, the greater the chance of effectively
        communicating to them the importance of a healthy lifestyle.  A method
        that works with one child may not work with another.
 
     3) Boost your child's self-esteem.  Positive reinforcement and praise from
        a parent greatly affects how children perceive themselves.  Conversely,
        you should avoid negative comments and critiques about weight and
        appearance.
 
     4) Know yourself.  Before you can build a rapport with your child, you
        must first understand your own motivations and self-image.  Ensure that
        you are not projecting your body issues onto your child when talking to
        your child about healthy habits and weight.
 
     5) Work together as a team. Think of your child as an essential team
        player without whom you could not win, and encourage your child to do
        the same.  You should both work toward a common goal, and you can get
        there through mutual listening, talking and sharing.
 
     6) Be a role model!  You child watches and learns from you everyday.
        Healthy parents mean healthy kids.  When you exercise or reach for an
        apple, you set an example that your child will want to follow.
 
     7) Give them some freedom.  Step back and allow your children to make some
        of their own decisions.  Often, the harder you push, the harder they
        will push back.  Arm them with the knowledge they need to make the
        healthy choice, and then allow them to make it themselves.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -- Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X63731417
 
 

SOURCE Weight Watchers International and American Health Foundation
    NEW YORK, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- As the number of overweight children in
 the U.S. reaches epidemic proportions, there's plenty parents can do at home
 to reverse the trend by getting kids to eat better and rev-up their sedentary
 lifestyle.
     According to the Centers for Disease Control, one-in-four children in the
 U.S. is overweight or at risk of becoming overweight.  Just as alarming is the
 fact that more than half of the adult U.S. population is overweight,
 suggesting that many parents themselves may be poor examples when it comes to
 eating and activity.
     The fact that more kids than ever have a weight problem may also reflect a
 societal change where children are more independent and parents less involved
 in providing structure and guidance.  Despite the wealth of information now
 available to them, many parents simply don't know how to get their kids to eat
 right and exercise.
     To help parents be more effective as educators and role models, Weight
 Watchers International, in collaboration with the American Health Foundation,
 has published "Getting Kids to Eat Well & Be Active," a free 14-page color
 brochure which contains insights and tips for communicating effectively with
 children.  The printed brochure is available at participating Weight Watchers
 locations across the U.S., and it is posted in downloadable form on the
 Internet at WeightWatchers.com.  The American Health Foundation will also
 distribute the booklet to schools.
     "Talking to kids about eating and activity habits requires good
 communication skills," said Lawrence Siegel, Ph.D., Dean and Professor,
 Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, Albert Einstein
 School of Medicine.  "The manner in which you approach a child can matter as
 much as what you actually say, which is why this brochure aims to strengthen
 key skills in the areas of rapport building, being an effective role model,
 and creating a supportive home environment," he said.
     Partnership on the booklet leverages the strengths of two leading
 organizations devoted to good health.  Weight Watchers has unique expertise in
 helping people modify their behavior to live healthier lives.  Its members
 often share what they learn about nutrition and exercise at home with their
 family. The American Health Foundation, which is committed to research and
 education on disease prevention, gives the brochure important context by
 underscoring the myriad health risks associated with being overweight.
     "Getting Kids to Eat Well & Be Active" goes beyond isolated do's and
 don'ts to give parents a fresh perspective and actionable steps to promoting
 healthy habits and addressing unhealthy behaviors in the home.  By focusing on
 communication skills, the brochure hopes to empower parents as teachers and
 role models.
     "The obesity rates among young people should be a wake-up call to parents
 everywhere because overweight kids face a lifetime of preventable health
 problems," said Daniel Nixon, M.D., President, American Health Foundation.
 "Instilling good eating and activity habits can't start early enough, and
 parents need be remain active in shaping good habits throughout the formative
 years," he said.
     The fast-paced American way of life lends itself to overeating and too
 little exercise.  Super-sized portions have become the norm, snack foods
 abound, and convenience usually reigns supreme when it comes to preparing
 homemade meals.  A 1999 study from the Centers for Disease Control that found
 that youth are more sedentary than previous generations with only 29 percent
 of high school students attending physical education classes.  The study found
 that one-in-three children did not engage in vigorous physical activity on a
 regular basis.
     "The basic principles for healthy eating and exercise are the same for
 children and adults," said Myron Winick, M.D., Medical Director for Weight
 Watchers International, Inc.  "For kids who are already overweight, parents
 should focus on making eating and lifestyle changes that will prevent further
 weight gain.  It's important to address the behavioral roots of a child's
 weight problem because food alone is not the cause," she said.
     Currently approximately 675,000 people attend more than 20,000 meetings
 each week across North America.  To learn more about Weight Watchers and use
 the Meeting Finder, visit http://www.weightwatchers.com or for information
 about Weight Watchers meeting locations, call 1-800-651-6000.
 
                         Tips for Ensuring Healthy Kids
 
     1) Create a healthy home environment.  If children have healthful snack
        options, set eating schedules and available toys and sports, they are
        more likely to establish healthy habits.
 
     2) Familiarize yourself with your child's individual habits.  The better
        you understand your child, the greater the chance of effectively
        communicating to them the importance of a healthy lifestyle.  A method
        that works with one child may not work with another.
 
     3) Boost your child's self-esteem.  Positive reinforcement and praise from
        a parent greatly affects how children perceive themselves.  Conversely,
        you should avoid negative comments and critiques about weight and
        appearance.
 
     4) Know yourself.  Before you can build a rapport with your child, you
        must first understand your own motivations and self-image.  Ensure that
        you are not projecting your body issues onto your child when talking to
        your child about healthy habits and weight.
 
     5) Work together as a team. Think of your child as an essential team
        player without whom you could not win, and encourage your child to do
        the same.  You should both work toward a common goal, and you can get
        there through mutual listening, talking and sharing.
 
     6) Be a role model!  You child watches and learns from you everyday.
        Healthy parents mean healthy kids.  When you exercise or reach for an
        apple, you set an example that your child will want to follow.
 
     7) Give them some freedom.  Step back and allow your children to make some
        of their own decisions.  Often, the harder you push, the harder they
        will push back.  Arm them with the knowledge they need to make the
        healthy choice, and then allow them to make it themselves.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -- Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X63731417
 
 SOURCE  Weight Watchers International and American Health Foundation