Ester Marsh: Weight loss is family effort - Salisbury Post

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Q. After your last two articles I have a question about my child for you. My child is overweight, what can I do to make her lose weight?

A. Statistics show that obesity is rampant across the nation.

I have had numerous talks with specialists at such organizations as Salisbury Pediatric Associates, Rowan Regional Medical Center, the Rowan County Health Department and others about the concern with the growing obesity issue and what we can do about it. Unfortunately, lots of parents don't worry about obesity, like they would other illnesses. Studies have shown that obesity leads to all kinds of health issues.

If this trend continues, most parents will outlive their children.

Being aware of your child's need is the first step. Now, hopefully I can give you some tips that will help.

First, don't single out your child. For example, if you have chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, while your child has a salad, would not be a good choice.

It really takes an effort to make the right choices. Don't "super-size" your own meals and avoid "all you can eat" specials. It's hard to not eat yourself silly.

With children I really like to focus on activity level, as I do for adults.

First, consider diversity. Not all children are born to play team sports. Simply because they do not like soccer, baseball or football does not mean, they don't like sports.

They might love swimming, running or martial arts.

Expand their horizons.

They might love to sing, dance or act. We are so lucky to have so many awesome possibilities here in Salisbury.

With different programs your child can be active.

It takes a whole family to get and stay healthy and active.

Add Dan Nicolas Park, city parks or the North Carolina Zoo to your family events.

Expand your taste buds by trying different fruits, vegetables and snacks, but don't deprive them from the "forbidden" foods. Teach them moderation.

I grew up in a Dutch bakery. We had desserts every day, but we always had to eat a balanced meal before dessert.

Another thing I see a lot of is snacking before lunch or dinner. Your appetite decreases, which means, your nutritious food intake will be a whole lot less.

One thing that works in my household is to not buy things that anyone is having a hard time avoiding.

Why would you want to torture yourself and your family with forbidden foods you really can't have anyway? Something else that works for me is to eat a meal or satisfying healthy snack before you shop, and make sure you have a grocery list.

You will be amazed how different your cart will look. Take little steps at a time.

If you need help, ask your doctor, or even schedule an appointment with a licensed nutritionist or dietitian. It will be worth it.

Just remember, it needs to be a positive change in everyone's lifestyle.

Good Luck!

Ester H Marsh ACSM Cpt is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website.
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26 Sep, 2011

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