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Facts About Body Weight

  • The chance that an obese 5-year-old child remains obese as an adult is approximately 50 percent. This increases to more than 80 percent for an obese adolescent.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 19 percent of children ages 6 to 11 are obese, and 17 percent of children ages 12 to 19 are overweight.
  • Overweight children are at risk for other long-term illnesses.These include:
    * Diabetes
    * High blood pressure
    * High cholesterol
    * Fatty liver
    * Asthma
    * Sleep apnea
    * Bone and joint conditions
    * Emotional distress
  • Body weight is affected by many things including food intake, activity, genetics and emotional factors.
  • According to U.S. surveys, two out of three adults and one out of three children have excess weight.
  • A team approach to the treatment of childhood obesity appear to show the most success.

Reference: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Exercise
Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle for children and adults alike. It is especially important when it comes to achieving and maintaining an ideal body weight because it uses up calories that could be stored as fat. Exercise is also a crucial variable in preventing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.   

When it comes to keeping kids (and adults) active the most important part is fun. Choose activities that kids will enjoy so that exercise never becomes a punishment or a chore for them.

• Youth sports teams and active play time are ideal ways for kids to stay active. 
• Something as simple as walking is a great family activity that will increase heart rate and burn calories, as well as builds family relationships and encourages communication. 
• Other fun activities for kids are playing at the park, riding bikes, swimming, walking the dog, playing frisbee.
• Northern Arizona offers countless trails and hikes ranging from 20 minutes to all day hikes.
• Develop exercise charts for the entire family.

If the activity is fun, kids and adults are more likely to stick with it and make it a regular part of their lifestyle.

Behavior
At some point in our lives, people who are overweight learned eating behaviors that caused weight gain. Childhood usually is the start of this behavior.

In an effort to encourage healthy eating, children often are told to “clean their plate” and may be punished or rewarded if they did so by --- often with food. 

Many children grow up to be compulsive eaters, overeaters and binge eaters. Compulsive eaters or overeaters often are obese or overweight and are susceptible to health problems caused by being overweight. Causes of compulsive eating and overeaters vary. Contributing factors are:
• Sexual abuse or rape
• Emotional abuse
• Divorce
• Death
• Bullies/school problems
• Dysfunctional family relations

Food becomes a way to deal with stress, avoiding or putting off difficult tasks, dealing with difficult people or a way of comforting themselves during bad times. 

Fit Kids of Arizona focuses on Behavior Therapy, which seeks to isolate the feelings and thoughts that cause undesirable behaviors from behaviors themselves. This approach is often a front-line treatment option for eating disorders, overeaters and compulsive eaters. By learning behavior modification techniques that will help patients to redefine attitudes and beliefs about food as well as self-esteem and self worth.