I thought this was a great article, and a really proactive way to deal with obesity in children and teach them the values of a balanced and healthy diet from a young age. I've posted the first few paragraphs here. For the rest of the article and links, you can read it here:
Child's weight course is a family affair
By JAMIE STENGLE, Associated Press Writer Sun Jul 29, 3:19 PM ET
DALLAS - Life for the Washington family has changed. Instead of fast food for dinner, they have grilled chicken and vegetables. Sugary drinks have been replaced with diet soda. Frisbee games in their yard have encroached on television time.
It's been more than two months since the Washingtons — Bill, Sue and their 9-year-old daughter Alana — completed a family program for children struggling with their weight and now they're trying to stick to their nutrition and fitness goals.
"It's been gradual," said Bill Washington on a summer afternoon as Alana snacked on grapes, low-fat crackers and low-fat cheese. "I've noticed her willingness to participate and be active in healthy decisions."
Alana misses doughnuts, but concedes that she enjoys much of the healthier fare her family has been eating. She prefers baked Cheetos to the regular ones, loves diet Mountain Dew and has even developed a love for snow peas.
The three-month program — called Dean Foods LEAN (Lifestyle, Exercise and Nutrition) Families Program — offered at Children's Medical Center Dallas focuses on making fitness and nutrition changes for the whole family.
"We're really trying to teach them skills they can use for the rest of their lives," said Dr. LeAnn Kridelbaugh, the program's medical director.
The Dallas program is one of many across the United States trying to tackle the issue of childhood obesity — more than one-third of American children are overweight. At least 95 children's hospitals have similar programs, according to a survey by the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions and Columbus Children's Hospital in Ohio.