Is There a Fix for Childhood Obesity?

Youth obesity is a prevalent, dangerous (and growing) epidemic. Can there be a plan where prevention of weight-gain and increase in healthy weight-loss can exist? Yes, there may be an interesting and potentially successful fix for childhood obesity.

What it’s Looked Like in The Past

Diet, as a term, basically means the types and amounts of foods someone typically eats. “Dieting”, however, has become known as the practice of reducing calories and changing eating and exercise patterns.

Many youth-based obesity programs focus on “dieting.” They often stress the counting of intake calories, along with counting calories burned through exercise. That’s a plausible and proven successful method of accomplishing a weight-loss goal. But is it working? Clearly, not well enough.

A New Approach

Mindful eating” is a new buzz-term that can truly benefit our overweight and obese youth. It’s an approach to eating that emphasizes on how the body feels while eating—and afterwards.

There’s a focus on the foods we put into our mouths. That would be a simplistic definition of mindful eating. But, Dr. Lenna Liu explains that a more demonstrative example of that focus means, “It allows us to pay attention to hunger and fullness, emotional connections to food and the relationships involved in eating.”

How Do You Feel?

Mindful eating focuses on what we ingest and why. If I’m feeling sad and I eat a gallon of ice cream, it’s pretty obvious what I’m eating and why.

Keeping an eye on ourselves, with compassion, we can make healthy food choices that focus on using food as energy. That’s what its intention is/was. All the artificial flavors and fats and salts…those are all unhealthy soothers.

Dr. Lenna Lui is a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She expresses that mindful eating focuses on positives, not negatives. She suggests we all observe our emotional connection to foods and how we respond accordingly.

Being Models For Our Kids

We all grab for “comfort” food. But why does food need to be the comfort? There must be an alternate, progressive way to help our youth. They needn’t tie their emotional needs or disappointments into eating. We can teach them differently!

As Liu points out, “the urge to eat due to emotions can occur suddenly and urgently.” If we, as adults, can recognize what’s going on, we can communicate or model a healthier approach for our children.

Explaining, demonstrating, and modeling that food is a beautiful necessity—we need it to “think, play, learn, and grow.” Also, making sure we provide healthy foods in the home will make a huge difference how children choose their foods. Working together, we all can make a difference.



Study Shows Minimal Exercise Can Lower Your Heart Disease Risk

A 20-year concurrent study showed that even two-and-a-half hours a week of brisk walking could lower risk of heart disease significantly.

Three-Hour Power

The study was conducted by the Indiana University School of Public Health. Over 95,000 women between the ages of 27 to 44 were observed and questioned biannually for 20 years. The purpose was to study the association of total leisure-time physical activity with heart disease in younger women. One finding was with the ladies who participated in at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. They were found to have an approximate 30% percent lower risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD).

Why This Study?

One of the reasons researchers chooses this age group is because there has already been a multitude of studies on “older” women and men. Examining the probability of getting CHD at a younger age means earlier treatment and lifestyle choices. Another alarming reason is that there has been the very little decline in CHD-related mortality rates amongst young women. The rise in type-2 diabetes and obesity numbers certainly hasn’t helped make a dent. (At the time of this publication, 58% of women between 20 and 39 years old are overweight or obese. The number of women between 40 and 55 hangs at 71%.)

Healthy Findings

One real discovery was that physical activity lowered CHD risk—regardless of a woman’s BMI. So for young women of any weight, moderate exercise, physical activity is beneficial.

The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, also examined the effects of moderate vs. intense activity. The researchers additionally explored if a particular type of exercise made a difference. And finally, they looked at the frequency of participating in exercise and its effects on lowering CHD risk.

Exercise does not have to be strenuous to reduce heart disease risk. It can be moderate, such as brisk walking. Frequency was found to be not as important as total volume; meaning the total amount of time per week trumped how many times.

It Begins Early

Setting up routines for regular exercise as a young person is a wise choice. Movement becomes a habit, not a chore. Additionally, physical activity participation between the ages of 14 and 22, showed to lower CHD risk up until middle adulthood. However, this study also revealed that those who are middle-aged and older no longer benefit from their high-school years of sports, etc. Physical activity must be resumed—even if it’s only a total of three hours a week.

What was also fascinating is that the effects on blood pressure, lipids, glucose levels, and triglycerides were all altered beneficially directly after physical activity. This is a critical note. No matter how inactive you may have been (or still are), the second you pick yourself, it immediately benefits your body on so many levels. You may not see what’s going on inside, but once you start exercising, your heart fills with smiles.

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Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Reversed?

The anguish of being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes may cause vulnerability, depression and helplessness.  However, there is a possibility of reversing the diagnosis and freezing the dependent ritual of pill popping, which currently keeps the disease under control.  How is this possible and what measures have to be taken to achieve this?


Type 2 Diabetes On The Rise


A tidal wave of obesity has washed up around the abdomen in the last century, suffocating the correct use of the pancreas and liver.  As a result of these organs not working properly, severe health issues can lead to kidney and heart disease, blindness and even foot amputation.

Good News

But there’s good news: this potentially harmful disease can be reversed without drugs.

A medical study conducted by Professor Roy Taylor from Glasgow University, Scotland, showed that 9 out of 10 people who undertook this trial reversed their Type 2 Diabetes, without the use of drugs or operations.

Lose It

By losing a significant amount of body weight, at least 33lbs, these patients reduced the fat mass around their pancreas and liver, thus normalizing the levels of these specific organs.  The result was a remission status from Type 2 Diabetes.  This trial is seen as a major breakthrough in controlling the disease because it was previously controlled with medication.

Observing the root of the illness and its relation to obesity, a significant weight loss program has given hope to millions of Type 2 Diabetes sufferers.  With a doctor guided weight loss program, in addition to patient dedication, patients have the potential to reverse the diagnosis.


The American Diabetes Association has recommended the following steps to help with weight loss:


  • Eat breakfast everyday (this kick starts your metabolism and helps stabilize blood sugar)
  • Exercise everyday. 20 minutes of high impact exercise like aerobics, running, swimming.
  • Cut back on calories and fat
  • Weigh yourself once a week
  • Watch less than 10 hours of television each week


There are numerous online support groups like, which may help the road to recovery.  Discussing options with a physician and being referred to a dietician will also help with the process.


With drastic weight loss being essential in reversing the diagnosis, diet is fundamental.

There are a number of foods to avoid like:


  • Starchy vegetables such as potatoes
  • Pasta, grains, and bread
  • Sweet fruit juice and full fat milk
  • Soda, candy, and artificial sweeteners
  • Sausage
  • Cold Cuts
  • Full fat cheese


Increase the following foods:

  • Healthy fat like avocado, olive oil, nuts, and olives
  • Leaner proteins like oily fish (salmon), skinless chicken, eggs, legumes, and tofu
  • Non starchy vegetables like spinach, kale, cucumber, onions, peppers, and sprouts.


The key with any lifestyle change is perseverance, knowledge, diet and positivity.   Armed with a great support network and the willingness to change lifestyle, reversing type 2 diabetes is possible.

To read more about diet and health visit:


Diabetes Testing Kit





Is Childhood Obesity Your Mom’s Fault?

According to a recent study, moms who are overweight tend to feed their children more often—and fill up their plates more. This behavior increases the risk for childhood- and future adult obesity.

Please, May I Have Some More?

Today’s world seems to have such a disparity between childhood starvation and childhood obesity. Neither is healthy—or fair to the child. The particular study that observed the behaviors of overweight and obese mothers was out of the University of Florida.

Of the 29 obese women in the study, researchers concluded that they all assumed their children were hungrier than they were. They fed their children more food than did the mothers of a healthier body weight. The 29 children were all between the ages of three and six years.

Results of Too Much

The lead investigator on the case commented on one of the (negative) aspects of the findings. “Young children have difficulty recognizing when they’re full. The more they’re fed, the more likely they are to eat.” Whether they are full or not.

Certainly, parents and caretakers need to oversee that children are fed when hungry. The difference, however, is that the obese women presupposed that the kids required more food than they did. This study opens up a great dialogue on how parents and children together can work on reasonable portions.

The Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics recently published these discoveries. Appropriate portions during childhood can lead to a lifelong of healthy eating habits. Additionally, learning at a young age what it’s like to feel hungry—and then full—is essential for each.

Snacking Situation

Snacks can be good. In fact, they can increase metabolism, help lower blood sugar, and relieve hunger before the next meal. But, they have to be nutritious!

Salty snacks (high in sodium and low in fiber or vitamins) and candy are the major calories derived from the worst snacking. Research in the past decade has shown that children’s snacks consist of almost one-third of their daily caloric intake. Since the 1990’s, kids’ calories from snacks have gone up almost 170 calories, daily.

Snacks for children and adults should be fiber and nutrition-rich. Some examples are carrots, a handful of nuts, or a scoop of peanut or almond butter on a celery stick. Fruit is good in moderation and should be derived fresh (not from juice or cans.) A scoop of anything with healthy fats (avocado, hummus) on an organic corn chip is perfectly acceptable and delicious. And, don’t forget to drink a glass of water!

Knowledge is Power

Knowing how much to feed yourself—and your child—is essential to maintaining a healthy body weight. Remember that your stomach is much larger than a toddler’s. It’s also important to recognize true hunger. Are you really hungry? Or bored? Or stressed?

And just because it tastes good, are you eating more than you need?

You can help prevent your child from becoming overweight by teaching healthy eating habits early in life. Part of how this can be accomplished is through modeling. Check with your practitioner, pediatrician, or nutritionist for professional guidance. You can always check here for other tips on nutrition, parenting, and best health practices.


Why Binge-Watching TV Could Lead to Early Death

No More Suspense

The hugely popular habit of binge-watching TV shows is linked to health hazards that may lead to an early death. Endless hours sitting in front of a screen increase your risk for conditions that can be fatal.

The TV Guide

When we were kids, we were told that TV was bad for our eyes. Over the decades, we’ve also learned that childhood exposure to TV violence may lead to becoming an aggressive adult. Today, however, the stakes have been wildly raised. The results of viewing non-interrupted, continuous hours of television can cause conditions that may have dire endings.

A recent study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, claims that binge-watching raises the risk of developing a blood clot in the lungs. Pulmonary embolism is a highly dangerous condition closely linked to inactivity. More than 25% of people who suffer from an untreated blood clot in the lungs die.

The Study Guide

A Japanese research team from Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine observed over 86,000 participants. The people were between the ages of 40 and 79. The team studied the participants’ TV viewing habits for over two years, back in the late 1990’s.

The average continuous watching time was two and a half hours per day. Those who watched over five hours a day were twice as likely to die over the following 19 years. For every two hours over that, the watcher raised his risk of the deadly blood clot by 40 percent.

This study raises grave concerns, but in total, there were only 59 deaths reported from the pulmonary embolism. That was out of 86,000 participants. The most frightening fact, however, is that obesity was the number one factor that was linked to the formation of the clots.

A Different Picture

Aside from the news about blood clots, there are other known health risks from spending large amounts of time binge-watching. Your risk of diabetes may increase. One study provided research that watching TV excessively increased individuals’ risk of developing diabetes over three percent. The same study indicated that people move less while watching TV than doing other sedentary things (like working at a desk.)

Sleep loss is another result of addictive TV watching. Without proper rest, we leave ourselves vulnerable to becoming ill. Our immune systems can become compromised. And, snacking and drinking sugary beverages while binge-watching can lead to a growing waistline in no time.

Best Laid Plan

No one is claiming that TV watching is bad for you—in moderation. Excessive amounts of hours in front of the screen are where the problems lie. Start by monitoring and setting a limit the time you, your spouse, and your children spend sitting in front of a screen. A helpful cliché: moderation is key.

Experts claim that even getting up to walk around every half-hour for five minutes can help. Stretching, doing sit-ups or push-ups while viewing can keep you in shape and entertained! Watch your health as you watch your shows and reap the benefits of both. Stay tuned…

For more articles on best health practices for you and your family, see some previews at

Obesity Numbers are Growing—Are You Part of This Trend?

In 1975, 105 million people were recorded as obese. By 2014, that number has increased to 641 million. In the United States today, two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. If you’re not fat, you’re the minority.

How Has This Happened?

It’s not that people are eating more; it’s the type of foods that people are eating that is creating this unhealthy epidemic. Almost half of the average diet is made up of oils and fats in processed foods, along with flour found in cereals, breads, cookies, etc.

Another factor is that government won’t subsidize healthier, whole foods, so they cost more, swaying the consumer to buy what’s cheaper. Additionally, pharmaceutical companies profit billions, selling us drugs to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, mostly caused by toxic foods, stress, and lack of exercise.

Shop for “whole grain”. Say no to soda and red meat. A pound of carrots is better than 3 ounces of potato chips. You can afford it, and you can do it. Let’s turn our health and these numbers around!



Sweet Surprise: Is Cutting Out Sugar From Your Diet Helpful or Harmful?

Sugar has been considered an enemy to so many Americans. It has been blamed for diabetes and obesity. We are all aware that too much sugar isn’t good for anyone, but is it best to cut back on sugar, or eliminate it from your diet altogether?

It may come as a surprise, but there are various types of sugar, which include:

  • Lactose
  • Glucose
  • Maltose
  • Fructose
  • Sucrose

You would mostly find fructose, glucose, and lactose in fruits and vegetables. There are many foods that contain added sugar, added by manufacturers to improve the flavor of the food.

Sweet Tooth Sources

If you have a sugar craving, what do you turn to? The most popular choices for sugar include:

  • Cakes
  • Chocolate
  • Soft Drinks
  • Desserts
  • Fruit Drinks

A can of coke, for example, consists of seven teaspoons of additional sugar. A chocolate bar can contain up to six teaspoons of additional sugar.

The Essential Foods

If you were to cut out these types of food from your diet, it would definitely improve some of your health issues you might be worried about. However, when all is said and done, this is not an easy feat according to medical experts. If you drastically take sugar out of your diet, it could actually have the adverse effect.

But why? Well, essential foods such as nuts, dairy products, eggs, fruits, and vegetables also contain sugar. So it isn’t as simple as just cutting out the bad sugar if you truly want to eliminate sugar entirely from your diet.

Insulin Level, Sugar, and Fat Storage

Health experts have determined that many people are more concerned with their insulin level and the sugar effect. Many think that high insulin levels result in the body storing fat, contributing to obesity and diabetes. Sugar does, in fact, cause your insulin level to spike.

What does insulin do to the body? Why does a high insulin level store fat in the body? The most efficient source of fuel is glucose. When the cells in the body are deficient in glucose, the body will try to find different methods of obtaining energy, possibly through the breaking down of fat and added sugar from body tissues. The body has to release stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, to complete this process.

But eliminating sugar from your diet can damage your metabolism. It can also weaken the immune system and cause poor digestion, hinder your reproductive function, and speed up aging. Your body cannot function optimally without any sugar. Your brain function, for example, is reliant on glucose or sugar. Without any sugar in the bloodstream, an individual can suffer a coma, be confused, or even suffer a lapse in memory.

It’s Not Always WHAT You Eat…it’s How MUCH.

The bottom line is this with your diet: anything you eat, moderation is the key. Having a balanced diet is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Avoid loading up on sugar, but don’t completely cut it out of your diet!



Are Both Mental and Physical Health Crucial to Success?

Does success mean merely reaching a goal, or does it including maintaining it? When our lives and work are thriving, that may be a more specific definition to the term “success.” If so, then, certainly, in order to attain and maintain success, both physical and mental health are crucial.

One Without the Other

Here are the real questions: Can we be physically healthy if our mental state is unhealthy? Alternately, can we be mentally healthy if our physical state is unhealthy? Not really.

So, the reality is—in order to be successful, it is crucial that both our bodies and minds get in healthy shape. Mental and physical health support and compliment one another; they work hand-in-hand.

And, unfortunately, your best health and opportunity for success decreases when one or both are lacking.

Paving the Path to Success

Let’s first explore the theory that optimum mental health cannot exist without proper physical health—and vice versa. If we can observe this as a proven hypothesis, then we can better understand that both are necessary for success. Here are some examples:

Lack of proper sleep definitely affects your body. You’re slower moving around, have less coordination, and you’re immune system can become weakened. But losing sleep affects your mental state, too.

Not getting enough rest can create mood swings, anxiety, depression, confusion, and memory lapses. According to Harvard Health Publications, chronic sleep issues may even increase risk for developing particular mental illnesses. This doesn’t sound like a recipe for success.

A poor diet can affect physical health in many ways. It can increase risk of:

  • tooth decay
  • obesity
  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease
  • some cancers
  • and a host of other negative conditions

On the flip side, not eating properly can also affect your mental state. Almost 95% of our serotonin is produced in our gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin is our “feel good” neurotransmitter. It’s constantly sending signals to our brain. We need healthy intake if we expect healthy mind-messengers.

Other mental consequences to malnutrition are: brain fatigue, general cognitive function, hypersensitivity, carelessness, and many other symptoms and behaviors that are not conducive to a status of success.

Lack of physical exercise, as we already know, has adverse effects on the body. Little or no physical activity affects blood sugar levels, muscles, joints, bones, the heart, and other organs. Weight control is deterred when we don’t exercise, which can lead to additional health concerns.

The mind can also be affected by not participating in physical movement. Anxiety, depression, and lack of motivation may be symptoms of not getting any (or enough) exercise. Low self-esteem may also be a side effect. If success is what you’re seeking, ignoring your body and mind’s need for exercise may not be a well thought-out plan.

Taking the Success Path

Now that we’ve established what can hinder your route to success, let’s, instead, take a look at the positive ways to approach your goals. Since both your physical and mental health are crucial (as we’ve also established), practicing skills that will improve both aspects will be to your advantage.

The great news is when you feed and treat your body with good things, your mind reaps the benefits, too. So, perhaps focusing on indulging in factors beneficial to your physical being may be a smart way to improve your mental state and wellbeing. After all, you’ll need both in good shape to experience success.

Exercise as a Priority for Success

If exercise is not part of your routine, the idea of making it a priority may be horrifying. Please trust that it’s not as scary as it sounds. Exercise can be walking, biking, hiking, gardening, having sex, swimming, dancing, and a multitude of other activities that get your body moving.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) published a postgraduate physicians’ academic paper outlining the benefits of exercise (of any kind). Here are some of their entries from a compilation of research and studies:

  • Reduced stress
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Great self-esteem
  • Improvement in mood
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased interest in sex
  • Increased mental alertness
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Weight Reduction
  • Improved cardiovascular fitness
  • Lower cholesterol

It appears that exercise covers a tremendous part of getting your physical and mental states in success-rendering shape. If you add smart, healthy eating and consistent proper rest to this mixture, it looks as if you’ll have a solid recipe for reaching your goals and maintaining them. has wealth of information that may help you in all areas on your path to success. If you like what you see, sign up for the newsletter and get up-to-date tips sent to your email weekly!