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And here are his answers:
Q. Is it ever ok to put your kids on a diet – especially with girls – what has to do with the body naturally maturing vs. really gaining too much weight?
A. If the kids are overweight, and all parents should find out the child’s BMI, then yes, it’s okay to put them on a diet. The diet must be rich in nutrients and protein in order not to stunt growth. But the risks of staying overweight are much greater than going on a weight loss program.
Q.How do you know when to be concerned about their weight and/or eating habits? Who or what guidelines should you trust?
A. You must use the BMI scale adjusted for kids. Visit your family doctor or pediatrician. The USDA has a great BMI tool for kids or visit www.smartforlife.com/ChildrensProgram.
Q. What are some tips that any tween girl and her family can use for healthy weight management?
The key is for them to have a high protein, low sugar breakfast. Excellent examples are egg white omelets and Smart for Life cookies, cereals and granola squares. Cut out all sugary drinks and junk food. Increase the amount of green leafy vegetables. Eat small, multiple meals throughout the day. Never eat anything fried. Do one hour of exercise per day – anything counts (walking, dancing, skating, exercise).
Q. Overall, tweens get conflicting messages – on the one hand, the media shows us too skinny, but on the other hand, many Americans are overweight – how can parents reconcile this conflicting information and help girls have healthy body images?
A. Tweens often get conflicting messages. We want them to be a healthy weight. Once a tween knows what a healthy weight is for her height and age, it is very easy to get to that range. Many tweens will unfortunately think of themselves as too fat even when they are at a healthy weight. Parents, doctors, teachers should get involved in explaining to these young girls what a healthy weight is and that a certain amount of fat is necessary for a healthy body and a long life.
Q. What else should parents be concerned about?
A. Obesity is a big problem in America and children are not excluded. The main causes of childhood obesity are the following:
• Huge increase in portion sizes in restaurants, schools, fast food and at home
• An increase in sedentary kids sitting in front of the computer, television, electronic hand-held games, etc.
• Very powerful advertising from the food industry showing high-calorie, sugary foods that are supposedly “good for you”
• High fructose corn syrup being added to sodas, juices and many other foods that provide lots of calories, no nutrition, and actually make kids hungrier than they truly are, so they eat more
• Finally, overweight kids are now almost the norm. It is not unusual to see a group of kids where 50% of them are overweight. When such a big number of kids are overweight, there is very little incentive to lose weight because kids and their parents feel fine because “everyone else is like that.”
Parents are the key to prevent obesity in their children. Parents must vote with their wallets and not buy poor quality, sugary food. Parents must lobby the food industry and government agencies for better quality food, labeling and healthier choices. Parents must educate their children on nutrition and its link to health just like they educate about “Stranger Danger”, Smoking, Drug and Alcohol abuse, even car seat safety. Parents need to set an example and share how some foods are bad for children. Schools should offer healthier food choices including white milk without sugar added! The medical community and insurance companies have to get serious about this issue as well and work with families, schools, and children’s organization to educate, inform and monitor children.
So what can you do to help an overweight/obese child? Consider Smart for Life’s THIN ADVENTURE or another healthy, balanced diet alone and incorporate exercise with it. If your child does not lose weight, seek the help of a medical professional. Overweight children get adult diseases much earlier including diabetes, heart disease and elevated cholesterol. These children should be screened to identify any of these symptoms and work with a medical professional to control the disease now rather than later. Keep in mind that overweight children also suffer from self-esteem issues and may need help with that as well. An overweight child becomes an obese adult.
The worst misconception about overweight/obese children is that a lot of parents think that their child is not suffering from being overweight. Many children tell their parents that they are okay with their weight and it does not bother them. Absolutely not true. Studies show that overweight kids do suffer socially and psychologically from their weight. Think about the rise in bullying in the schools; kids can be cruel and this will most certainly impact a child’s development, physically and emotionally. It is imperative that parents do not accept this type of answer from their kids, but instead learn how to talk to their kids about their weight in a gentle and supportive manner. Acting as a role model, providing encouragement and motivation, and becoming an advocate for better nutrition will ultimately be one of the best contributions a parent can make towards their overweight child’s fight to lose the weight.
Dr. Sasson E. Moulavi (Dr. Sass), M.D. is the Medical Director of Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers (www.smartforlife.com) headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida and is a graduate of the University of Toronto where he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He completed post graduate training at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Dr. Moulavi holds Board Certification in Bariatric Medicine and is a member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. He has completed the Annual Practical Approaches to the Treatment of Obesity at Harvard University and is a member of the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine as well as the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. For more than 13 years he has specialized in the study and treatment of Bariatric Medicine. Dr. Moulavi has directed the operation of multiple Weight Loss Centers in both the United States and Canada. Prior to 1995, he practiced as a family doctor in Canada. His passion is also to protect our planet by keeping our food supply clean of toxins and providing healthy choices for generations to come.
Snacking on the go never got easier! It’s Spring, and you know that means! Baseball games, t-ball games, days at the park… tons of ways that your kids are working out and playing hard!
Finding snacks that can keep up with active kids can be tough. You don’t want to load them down with sugary snacks that give them a rush of energy and then a crash soon afterward. I want snacks and drinks that are healthy, will give my kids the nutrients they need, and things they think taste great.
Recently, I was introduced to two new products that are great for active kids!
First, HINT water. HINT is flavored water that has no calories, sweeteners, or preservatives. It’s a great alternative to juice, soda, and sports drinks.
I received several bottles of HINT water to test out with my kids. My kids love to play hard, and they get thirsty! They each tried a bottle of HINT water, and they loved it! The smell of the drink is strong, but there’s just the slightest hint of flavor in the taste. The kids thought that was really cool, and they guzzled down their bottles of HINT water. The Watermelon and Blackberry flavors were their favorites.
Hint is available in 10 delicious flavors: Watermelon, Blackberry, Mango-Grapefruit, Honeydew Hibiscus, Pomegranate-Tangerine, Lime, Raspberry-Lime, Pear, Cucumber, and Strawberry Kiwi. It has appeared on popular shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Boston Legal, CSI, The Early Show and more. It’s available in Whole Foods and Starbucks.
For more information on HINT, visit www.drinkHINT.com.
The second set of products I was introduced to were Smart for Life Cookies. The kids absolutely loved these! They were just what they needed to keep them playing hard and having a good time. I love that the Smart for Life Cookies can also be used as a weight loss supplement. Because these cookies have a unique blend of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and other nutrients, they’re great to use as meal replacement bars, or for replenishing all the nutrients kids run off while they’re playing hard!
The kids gobbled these up after playing hard, but it wasn’t so filling that they wouldn’t eat their dinner a few hours later. These healthy cookies make snacking on the go convenient.
To learn more about the entire range of Smart for Life products, visit their website: www.smartforlife.com.
Overall, I’m completely impressed with both HINT and Smart for Life, and I think they’re a great snack and drink option for super active kids like mine.
Ellie Huff, a registered dietician and co-owner of Nutriformance joins us.
You help athletes reach peak performance and protein bars are part of it. But they’re not just for athletes, right?
What about fat, calories and sugar are some too sugary and sweet?
Best advice when buying them and incorporating them into a diet, is it a meal replacement or a snack?
Zone Perfect: 210 calories / 15g protein
We believe a creative life is a flavorful life and that inspires the way we approach the creation of our products. We believe a nutrition bar can be more than a nutrition bar. With the right amount of creativity – protein, vitamins and minerals can be harmoniously combined with amazingly great taste in a way that was once thought impossible. Suddenly a nutrition bar is something else. Something you can’t wait to eat. www.zoneperfect.com Box of 24/$36.00
Fun Fact: In 2009 Zone Perfect partnered with the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. To date, they’ve donated over $300,000 that’ll be used to help keep music programs alive in public schools across the nation.
Luna: 170 calories/ 9g protein
We use 100% natural, organic, wholesome ingredients good stuff like heritage whole grains, soy protein, nuts and seeds. And we’ve got you covered on the nutrients women need most like calcium and Vitamin D, folic acid, and iron. Our food has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives either. www.lunabar.com Box of 15/$18.75
Fun Fact: Luna created Team LUNA Chix to bring together women interested in learning new sports, staying active and inspiring others to do the same, all while raising money for the Breast Cancer Fund.
Smart for Life: 180 calories/ 18g protein
This Protein Blend in SmartforLife protein bars provides you with a balanced amino acid blend from many sources to help you gain muscle and keep your hunger under control. Smart for Live only uses canola oil – oil packed with Omega-3 Fatty Acids which means it’s actually good for you and your heart. www.SmartforLife.com, Box of 12/ $15.00
Fun Fact: Smart for Life protein bars have more protein per calorie than other major brands
PowerBar Pria: 110 calorie/ 4g protein
PowerBar Pria is specially formulated to help fuel active women’s lifestyles without weighing them down. The PowerBar Pria 110 Plus nutrition bar is an excellent combination of calorie-smart nutrition and rich, indulgent flavor. www.powerbarstore.com Box of 15, 14.99
Fun Fact: One bar contains as much calcium as a glass of milk
22 Days Nutrition- 230 calories/ 6g protein
Celebrity trainer Marco Borges has created the perfect vegan 22 Days Nutrition bars to help you kick your cravings and get back on track with your health. These bars are full of vitamins and minerals, and are safe for all ages. www.22daysnutrition.com Box of 12/35.88
Fun Fact: It takes 22 days to break a bad habit! Get started with SmartforLife® protein bars today and “get your sexy back”.
Baseball season has already started getting into full swing, and tee ball season too! Ours started last week! When we were kids, our dug out snacks consisted of sugary juice boxes and cookies, but times have changed! Even though there are still some ring pops to be found at our Little League practices! Thanks to HINT water and SmartforLife bars, your players can stay fueled and focused during their games with refreshing drinks and healthy, good-for-you snacks. We tried them out at today’s 1st practice.
My son does not love flavored water, but when I explained to him these drinks would give him more power to swing the bat, he was sold. His comments about the water was that the flavoring was very subtle (my translation of his explanation). He explained to me, after all he was the reviewer, that he only likes flavor in soda, not water, and there was not too much flavor in this water so he liked it.
My son is always hungry so we, I mean he, thoroughly enjoyed the bars. And thanks goodness there were no nuts to worry about. The cranberry bar was his favorite.
HINT flavored water has no calories, sweeteners or preservatives and is a great alternative to juice and soda. HINT was launched in April 2005 and is now available in all Whole Foods and Starbucks. It is available in Blackberry, Mango-Grapefruit, Pomegranate-Tangerine, Raspberry-Lime, and Strawberry Kiwi. I like those flavors for me!
Smart for Life has a range of protein filled Chocolate Chip cookies, Cranberry Granola Squares, and Protein Bars that are sure to help your players hit those home runs.
Disclosure: We received these items to sample. I chose to do this as Little League just started and I like their angle.
Green tea and dark chocolate are two food properties that offer healthful benefits. So, it would make sense that Smart for Life would get smart and add to their cookies and soup offerings, and formulate meal replacement bars packed with protein- keeping green tea and chocolate in mind.
In the past, you’d have to order Smart for Life products online, but today, you can find their newest protein bars in your local supermarket, right next to Slim Fast and South Beach products! I’ve tasted both bars offered: green tea and chocolate — both are delicious!
Especially now — with summer around the corner and every one ready to get their beach bodies ready, these all natural, gluten-free protein bars are healthy and nutritious for the entire family. Perfect for those pre/post workouts and airplane flights to your next destination, these bars pack in 18 grams of protein each and are delicious!
These delicious, crispy concoctions may be purchased at Hannaford stores and Shaw’s markets, or purchase online:
In a previous blog I explained many of the benefits Smart for Life® provides that other diets do not. One of those benefits is that we use triple filtered water because most municipal water systems frequently have water contamination in them and sometimes more.
It seems water contamination is in the news every day. A recent research study shows that an estimated one in 10 Americans have been exposed to drinking water that contains dangerous chemicals.
Because most water pollutants have no scent or taste, many people do not realize they are consuming these chemicals, even after they become sick.
This is why we only use triple filtered water. We continue to emphasize that the Smart for Life program is based on sound scientific facts and water contamination is one area that has been studied consistently.
The research study also reported that “because it is difficult to determine what causes diseases like cancer, it is impossible to know how many illnesses are the result of water pollution, or contaminants’ role in the health problems of specific individuals”.
That is why Smart for Life provides clients with support and expert guidance because we know that working together with a doctor will help you achieve results faster and with more success. If you have any health conditions or medications that require close attention, our Smart for Life staff and Medical Director are available to you.
You can also check your home’s water as well. To start, check your water utility’s “Consumer Confidence Report,” which it must mail to you each year before July 1 by law. The report details where your drinking water comes from, what contaminants have been found in it and how contaminant levels compare to national standards. You can also call your utility and ask for a copy, or visit http://www.epa.gov/safewater to see if it’s online
The Smart for Life team will continue to go above and beyond the usual requirements to provide a safe and effective program that ensures your short and long term success. Triple filtered water is just one more beneficial step we add to your weight loss journey.
Consumption of at least 1 sugary drinks per day is significantly associated with the development of diabetes, according to a report by Vasanti S. Malik, ScD and his colleagues with the Harvard School of Public Heath, as reported in Diabetes Care.
Sugar-sweetened beverages were defined as soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy and vitamin water, sweetened iced tea, punch, cordials, squashes and lemonade. Not included were 100% fruit juices without added sweeteners.
Dr. Malik notes that although consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks has been associated with weight gain, their role in the development of diabetes has not been reviewed. According to Dr. Malik and the researchers, the high content of rapidly absorbable carbohydrates in sugar-sweetened drinks may increase risk of diabetes not only through obesity, but also by increasing glycemic load, leading to insulin resistance and inflammation.
One single extra sugary drink has about 200 calories. That is equivalent to a 20 pound weight gain per year.
This study further supports my reasons to stay away from sugar-sweetened beverages and switch to healthy alternatives, such as water. Get started with SmartforLife® today and lose weight fast.
Almost 40% of the adults polled cited obesity as the biggest threat to youngsters and teenagers, followed by drug abuse, smoking, Internet safety and stress.
Dr. Matthews M. David, director of the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll says, “If we’d done this poll four years ago, obesity would not have been at the top of the list.”
Obesity rates among children and teens in the U.S. have skyrocketed in the last 30 years. A 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control showed nearly 1 in 5 children aged 6 to 11 and 18% of 12 to 19 years olds were obese.
The top 10 overall health concerns for U.S. children in 2010 and the percentage of adults who rate each as a “big problem” include:
1. Childhood obesity – 38%
2. Drug abuse – 30%
3. Smoking – 29%
4. Internet safety – 25%
5. Stress – 24%
6. Bullying – 23%
7. Teen pregnancy – 23%
8. Child abuse and neglect – 21%
9. Alcohol abuse – 20%
10. Not enough opportunities for physical activity – 20%
Fifty-seven percent of adults that rate childhood obesity as a big problem for kids say it is “getting worse.”
Let SmartforLife® help you and your children lose weight fast with the healthy nutrition you need.