Thursday, May 19, 2005

Sample 1: Turn Off the TV and Go to Bed!

Jim's Note: I needed to kick out a few quick samples for consideration as a writer on a website so you may notice this and the following two posts are "newsier" than usual. Sorry, but it has to be done. I promise I'll be back this evening with my usual gripe.

Turn Off the TV and Go to Bed!

If you're worried about your little bundle of joy turning into a tub of lard, you may want to consider turning off the tube and making sure your sweetie is getting plenty of sleep. According to Dr. John Reilly, an expert on child obesity at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, there are eight factors associated with an increased risk of obesity in childhood, including too much television and not enough sleep.

In a study reported online by the British Medical Journal, more than 9,000 children were observed from birth until age seven for the purpose of determining the risk factors for childhood obesity. The study found that more than eight hours’ TV a week or less than 10-1/2 hours’ sleep a night for a three-year-old were among the contributing factors indicating an increased risk for obesity. Other factors included high birth weight; early size; rapid weight gain; quick growth in years one and two; early body fat and having obese parents.

Unfortunately, obesity in children is no laughing matter. Overweight and obese children have a higher risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes as well as increased risks for developing heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer later in life.

In order to prevent obesity, Dr. Reilly stresses that that children’s habits and diet should be monitored from a very early age. “We are missing an opportunity to prevent obesity if we do not modify lifestyle and environment early in life. We need to be looking more at improving long-term outcomes by changing lifestyle,” he added.

At least 155 million youngsters worldwide, about 10 percent of all children, are overweight or obese according to estimates by Health experts.

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