Poll: Have Your Children Lost Weight Along With You?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
When you decide to start making healthy changes in your life, you probably start at home.  Common changes include getting junk food out of the house or replacing an evening T.V. show with an evening walk.  You might be the only one in the house who’s formally committed to the change, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else doesn’t benefit from it.  If you cook the meals, maybe you start making healthier dishes instead of opting for fast food a few nights a week.  And it’s easy to ask for company on your nightly walk, so soon it becomes a family event. 
In many households, it’s not just one family member who has weight issues.  Years of unhealthy habits can create weight problems for everyone, young and old.  If you’ve got a child in your house who has weight issues, it’s likely very stressful to try and figure out how to help.  How do you make eating healthy and exercising fun, to create habits that they can carry on for the rest of their lives?  According to a new study, the best strategy could be leading by example. 
The study, published in the journal Obesity, evaluated three different strategies used by parents to help their overweight or obese children lose weight.  “Researchers from UC San Diego and the University of Minnesota looked at eighty parent-child groups with an 8 to 12-year-old overweight or obese child. They participated in a parent-only or parent and child treatment program for five months.” In the first treatment group, parents were a role model by losing weight themselves.  The second group made changes to the home environment, and the third used active parenting techniques like limiting a child’s food intake.  The strategy that was most successful was when parents lost weight, because their children naturally started to slim down themselves. 
Although we hear it all the time, parents really are the biggest influences on their young children’s lives.  Kids are very perceptive and they see when mom is starting to snack on carrot sticks instead of candy bars, or dad has dusted off the weight machine in the basement to use a few nights a week.  Whether it’s intentional or not, adopting healthy habits for yourself can easily trickle down to the rest of the family.  Even if you don’t have weight to lose, you can still lead by example. 
What do you think?  How has your weight loss journey affected your children or others in your household?

Have your children lost weight along with you?

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