America - Land of Endless Fad Pads?

Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 02:04 pm
You could think so, especially, when living in Lithuania:

Based on height and weight information provided by each child, researchers calculated their BMI. They found this evidence of childhood obesity:
The U.S. had highest percent of overweight teens; Lithuania had the least.
Among 13-year-olds in the U.S., 13% of boys and 11% of girls were overweight. Among 15-year-olds, 14% of boys and 15% of girls were overweight.
Ireland, Finland, and Greece also had high numbers of teens with BMIs indicating they were either overweight or at risk for being overweight.
Countries with low prevalence were the Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Lithuania, and Sweden.

The study (by Inge Lissau, PhD, a Danish epidemiologist) of 29,242 boys and girls - all between 13 and 25 years old - involved Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Ireland, Israel, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, and the U.S.

source: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine

It seems however, that adult's fad diets are a great risk for children - if you thought this to be a remedy:

Fad diets risk to children's health
By Cathy O'Leary
Medical Editor

HEALTH experts are warning parents against restricting their children's diet, despite spiralling levels of obesity.

They say limiting some foods, particularly those rich in calcium and essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, could retard normal growth at a time when the body has some of its greatest needs.

The caution comes as new dietary and exercise programs are being developed for overweight children as young as eight or nine.

Weight Watchers, which accepts children from the age of 10 on its normal programs provided they have parental support, is developing programs for adolescents.

More than 20 per cent of Australian children between two and 17 are overweight or obese. Fatty streaks in arteries are being found in children as young as 10.

But nutritionists say overzealous fat restriction and low-energy diets can restrict growth, particularly in children aged 12-15 when most of the body's calcium stores need to be built up.

WA Health Department nutrition and physical activity manager Christina Pollard said dieting could be harmful to overweight children and could also make them prey to the trap of eating disorders.

A lot of important growth took place between the ages of 10 and 17, even in overweight children, and restricting their diet severely could be detrimental to that growth.

"What we should be doing is encouraging healthy eating," she said. "This often means looking at the types of foods from the five food groups to see if there's too much of things like chips, take-away and soft-drink."

Ms Pollard said some children were clinically very obese and had different needs.

These often had other problems that contributed to their weight gain and were subjected to bullying and ridicule. They needed specific help to manage their eating.

In all children it was important to encourage a love of physical activity or anything which kept them moving.

Weight Watchers Australian spokeswoman Lee Kirkland said that in the United States and Europe the company was researching specific programs for children. It did not advocate radical short-term weight loss.

It promoted healthy eating and passed on this information to parents.
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Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2004 06:01 am
There's a considerable amount of debate in Australia about overweight teens in this country at the moment. ONe story was a headline in todays paper. I just happened to notice it when I was at the shop an hour or so ago. Didn't buy the paper though, so I don't know the details.
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Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2004 09:51 am
Interesting article Walter. I've always thought that fad diets were bad, not just for the dieter, but also for their kids. Kids pick up on this stuff. Parents' dieting can lead to kids being overly-anxious about their own weight.
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