Hello everyone! Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday but as you know I’m dealing with my low back injury and boy is it taking a toll. I’m confident I’ll be back in action very soon, but in the meantime the press just keeps giving me fantastic material to work with. As my new friend Heather Frey from Twitter says – It’s ANGRIFYING!
While surfing the web, I can across this article in the LA Times in which hard to come by research dollars have been used to show a link between parents following a healthy diet and exercise program, and their children’s adherence to the same. Umm, what am I missing here? Did they really need to research this? Seriously, who’s coming up with these ideas for studies and paying out ridiculous money to fund them? And people wonder why I’m angry.
In the “study”, 165 overweight kids that ranged in age from 6 – 10 were placed in 1 of 3 different intervention groups; a program where better eating habits, goal setting, and positive reinforcement was taught to parents in a dietician designed program, an exercise program for kids led by a physical education teacher with the parents only taking part initially but encouraged to do more as time went on, and another group where parents and children both had an intervention consisting of exercising and eating healthy together.
And guess what? They found that while all groups initially had similar results with weight loss, the children from the group that had both parents and children participating in exercise and eating healthy had better results 2 years after the study. Wow, no kidding, really? I wonder why that is? Come on – give me a break. The researchers even go on to say “parents input might be necessary to see results”. Might be?
Of course kids that have parents who are actively exercising and eating healthy stand a better chance of learning and adopting better habits. No, I don’t believe that to always be the case, but I would argue common sense dictates this to be true most of the time. Wouldn’t you agree? How many behaviors and lifestyle habits do you think your children learn from you?
Children don’t only learn from being told what to do, but by being shown what to do. Popular quotes that comes to mind are “lead by example” and “actions speak louder than words”. Why would the kids from the first group, where the parents were taught better habits but didn’t adopt also adopt them or exercise, stay motivated? After all good old’ mom and dad don’t follow the program, so why should they. And the second group where the parents basically got the kids started and then ditched the program? Yeah, sure they’ll continue on their own.
In my opinion giving kids positive reinforcement is great, but teaching, showing and leading by example is as important if not better. And when the two are combined it’s just priceless. I see many kids that are overweight that also have overweight parents. Do you think that’s just a coincidence, or is it the poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle that’s the real culprit? I don’t want to hear the excuses like “we’re big boned” or “our genetics makes us fat”. That’s a bunch of crap and everyone knows it. In the same way families that are big on sports and activity will tend to be generally healthier.
I’m lucky, really lucky. I grew up in an Italian household with tons of food everywhere. I ate junk food daily, bottles of soda, and calorie laden meals I wouldn’t even dream of eating now. Along the way in my 20’s, I learned about food and nutrition thanks to my bodybuilding interests, and it saved me. But I’m not the norm, most kids in my living situation would’ve continued on the path and ended up overweight, unhealthy and out of shape.
I’m sorry for the rant, but this is really getting to me and truthfully why I started Angry Trainer Fitness. I’m tired of reading about new pills, stomach pacemakers, drinks, and all sorts of junk trying to circumvent the real problem. It’s time we ALL buck up and take responsibility for our actions, which directly result and affect our most precious resource in life – our children.
If you’re overweight, a smoker, or have unhealthy habits you must realize that the harm being done is not just to yourself. The effects that you have on your children, how they think, their lifestyle, can have lifelong implications. I don’t think that I, or anyone else needed to read that in a news story to know it was true. So when are you going to start taking action and change…?