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Desperate Housewives tackle childhood obesity

Posted on Sep 29, 2008 by Maggie LaBarbera

Kudos to Desperate Housewives for introducing a storyline about the struggles of having an overweight child.

It really showed in one episode something that parents across America, and globally are facing, childhood obesity.

Surprising, they hit a lot of key challenges face:

  • A parent's denial that their child is overweight is not uncommon.
  • How to handle the situation sensitively so that the child does not develop body image issues.
  • Conflicts between parents on how to address the issue
  • The resistance to discuss health with their child
  • attempts to trick the child into exercising and the child's rebellion
  • shopping for the overweight child
  • parent's feelings of concern and doubt
  • hearing other parents' comments about their child
  • a parents need to protect their child
Lots of real life struggles. But one thing that I really loved, was how the father, Carlos, tried to get his child to eat vegetables by drowning it with fattening cheese sauce. Essentially, taking away all the health benefits. We laugh, but....

Changing a child's diet first starts with family changes. The focus should not be on the child, but on the family. We need to emphasize the importance of healthy living not weight and clothing size. And honest discussion as a family to agree and set goals for healthy STEP changes. Not dramatic life changes that will make it hard to succeed. But step changes, one step at a time.

We have healthy nutrition goal worksheets (we call them family agreements) and tracking sheets to help you work on one healthy change at a time.

Keep it simple, be patient and stay positive. If this becomes a negative experience for your child then they will begin to associate "healthy" with "NO fun". And let's not forget, the kids are hearing all about how much fun it is to eat the high sugary, fatty foods. We have to fight fire with fire or maybe I should say FUN with FUN.

We have to make nutrition and exercise fun to learn about. That starts with a positive attitude and family creativity.




Friday, Oct 03, 2008 @ 05:46 PM

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I laughed and secretly wanted to cry when I was watching Desparate Housewives on Sunday. I completely agree that changing a child's eating habits starts "at the top" with the parents. I was such a fat kid, and I knew it from about first grade on. And my parents were fat. So were three of my four grandparents. I really started stressing over my weight my junior year in HS, when I hit 240 pounds, and I went to a fat camp. Yet, I came back home to a fried chicken dinner. God love my mom, her favorite way of loving my brother and I was through really great comfort food. Fortunately, I've gotten a handle on my weight. Now that I'm a mom, I try to teach the eat-to-live concept-------instead of living to eat. I still struggle with food, but I pray that my kids don't. So far so good. By the way, after playing the games on your site, my youngest (7) asks if we have foods from every group in the pyramid...almost every meal. THANK YOU!
Nourish- Chef Solus
Sunday, Oct 05, 2008 @ 11:19 AM

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I know my mom is the same way with food. I struggle with weight every day since I had my kids. But my mom does not believe in diets, and of course she never has to worry about weight. But I am so glad to hear that our games are helping. It means a great deal to hear that and makes all this so worthwhile. Thanks for sharing
Friday, Nov 07, 2008 @ 04:44 AM

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Any other way solving this issue?
Thursday, Dec 11, 2008 @ 01:00 AM

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I never bid believe in that one.

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