posted by | on health, parenting

A 2012 study showed that obesity is the most prevalent nutritional disorder among children and adolescents in the United States. Among children ages 2-19, about 1 in 3 are overweight and 1 in 6 are obese. For its 14th season weight loss reality show “The Biggest Loser” is targeting a new demographic: overweight teenagers.

My client, Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD – a formerly obese child, a mother of a once-picky eater and a pediatrician is acutely aware of the epidemics of obesity and inactivity in our children. A registered dietician and widely recognized for her expertise in childhood obesity, nutrition, and fitness, Dr. Muth is the author of Eat Your Vegetables! and Other Mistakes Parents Make: Redefining How to Raise Healthy Eaters (April 2012).

Dr. Muth applauds “The Biggest Loser” for drawing attention to the childhood obesity epidemic and making significant changes to the show from the adult version to help avoid exploitation and unintended harm to the children. However, Dr. Muth says “this intervention is unlikely to contribute to meaningful weight management and lifestyle change for these teens in the long-term because arguably the most important factor in a child’s weight management success is mostly absent — the Parents! The parents have played a major role in the child’s onset of obesity and the parents are also the solution. The family is a crucial component that is mostly absent from “The Biggest Loser Childhood Edition,” at least what is portrayed so far. Plus, the parents are the adults who are supposed to be looking out for their kids — if they want to take the risk of letting their kid sink or swim in the spotlight of the American public, then they should be right out there with them. It really should be Family Edition.” Jillian Michaels said, “The focus of the teens’ transformation would be health — not weight or clothing size.” Dr. Muth believes this “healthy approach” starts with the parents.

Recently, Dr. Muth appeared on Yahoo! Shines show Away We Grow to talk about the parents role in combatting childhood obesity.  Here is the clip.

 

 

 


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