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Are Your Kids Eating Well?

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A study to come out of Australia from the CSIRO has shown that only a proportion of our kids are eating and exercising well enough to be healthy now and in the future. Are yours?

Our children are our future and many of them are setting themselves up for terminal ill health before they have even started. The article goes on to say:

“UniSA Professor Tim Olds says about one quarter of the children surveyed were overweight or obese.

‘This number hasn’t increased over the last decade or so, and that’s encouraging but it’s still far too high,’ Professor Olds says. ‘Australian children spend very large amounts of time (3-4 hours a day on average) in front of a screen of some sort – TV, computer or videogame console. Swapping sedentary behaviours like TV watching for activities that get kids moving is a great step towards getting that number down.’

Project coordinator, Dr Jane Bowen of CSIRO’s Preventative Health National Research Flagship, says since the previous surveys there have been some big changes in the Australian way of life.

‘Many children are not eating enough nutritious food, which means they don’t get the vitamins and minerals needed during their growth years,’ she says. ‘Unfortunately fruit, vegetables and dairy foods are being replaced by foods high in kilojoules, salt and saturated fat – the very dietary patterns linked to the development of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease in adults.’

The head of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Flinders University Professor Lynne Cobiac, says the results for teenage girls are particularly worrying.

‘As a group, teenage girls appeared to be getting insufficient amounts of calcium from foods. Eighty percent of 14 to 16 year old girls did not consume the recommended amounts of calcium. Girls this age also reported doing the least amount of physical activity. These two factors combined put them at risk of developing weak bones as they grow older.’

Dr Bowen says the survey involved more than 4,400 interviews with children aged 2 to 16 years and their parents.” (Science Centric News)

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October 27, 2008 Posted by | Health, Nutrition, Wellness | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Losing Weight is all About Believing in Yourself

The article excerpt below would seem to be a statement of the obvious, however many people are very hard on themselves and may not know that believing in themselves is their best motivation and gives them the highest chance of success at accomplishing any goal. In Australia we tend to be a self-deprecating society this does us no favours when it comes to achieving our goals. So any fitness, weight loss or health program needs to have some defined coaching strategies within it, so that your clients are ultimately successful at achieving their health and fitness goals.

“Queensland University of Technology nursing researcher Rhonda Anderson said self-efficacy had emerged as a strong influence on women’s decision to do more exercise or eat more healthily.

She surveyed more than 560 South-East Queensland women aged between 51 and 66 on their exercise and diet habits and found that although women in their 50s were keen to make healthier diet and exercise changes, they had few effective strategies to draw upon.

“This is an age when women’s weight tends to peak, and almost two-thirds of the survey group were overweight or obese,” Ms Anderson said.

“Self efficacy is our belief that we can produce the result we want to produce, so a person with high dietary self-efficacy believes they can eat healthily no matter what – even when bored, upset, tired, on holiday or at a party.

“A person’s level of self-efficacy determines how hard they try and how long they stick at things in the face of difficulties. People with high self-efficacy are motivated and optimistic – when the going gets tough, they keep going.

“People with low self-efficacy avoid difficult tasks and when things get tough they are more likely to give up. We can improve our self-efficacy by developing skills, having role models and getting encouragement from others.”

Ms Anderson’s study found being overweight or obese was a key influence on self-efficacy. “Women who carried a lot of excess weight were more likely to have low self-efficacy and to not believe they could stick to an effective healthy exercise or diet program,” she said.

“Education is also a factor – women with a tertiary education were more likely to have high self-efficacy for exercise.”

Ms Anderson said her findings were timely given the population was ageing and women lived longer than men.

“We are going to have a lot of older women and if they are obese at age 60 they are not well placed to have a healthy old age. Carrying excess weight has been linked to diseases including diabetes, heart disease and breast cancer,” she said.

Ms Anderson said that most of the women in her study who had made an effort to exercise more took up walking and those who had tried to eat more healthily had mainly cut down on fat.

“But going for a stroll and not having butter on your bread won’t have you lose 30kg. Women need specific education and support to be successful in improving their health and losing weight.

“We need to reach the many women juggling work and motherhood and feel guilty if they take time for themselves.

“A lot of women in their 50s are keen to improve their health, and we need to take advantage of that, but if we can support them in taking care of themselves from an earlier age, so much the better.” Adapted from materials provided by the Queensland University of Technology.            ScienceDaily (May 2, 2008)

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May 10, 2008 Posted by | Fitness, Wellness | , , , | 1 Comment