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WHO calls for healthier marketing to curb childhood obesity

Healthier Marketing Is Critically Needed

WHO-healthier marketingWe need healthier marketing on TV! Just over a week ago, in London, Kate Kelland published an article in Reuters stating that the World Health Organization (WHO) is claiming the marketing techniques geared toward children to push unhealthy foods has proven to be “disastrously effective”.

Television is the largest contributor, but certainly not the only medium being used to target our children.  Inexpensive new marketing channels such as Social media and smart phone apps are flooding our kids with advertising for products high in saturated and trans-fats, sugar and salt.  Even in environments where we would expect to find protection, such as schools and sports facilities, these dangerous foods are readily available. Healthier marketing is needed badly to help children.

Leading culprits include, but are not limited to: soft drinks, sweetened breakfast cereals, cookies, sweets, snacks, prepared foods and fast food outlets.

Healthier Marketing On TV

Most children watch at least two hours of television; daily.   If you combine the passive time spent with the unhealthy influence of these advertisements, the negative impact multiplies exponentially.

Zsuzsanna Jakab, director of the WHO’s regional unit for Europe is quoted as saying; “Overweight is one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century: all countries are affected to varying extents, particularly in the lower socioeconomic groups.”

Although some countries (Denmark, France, Norway, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden) have taken action to curb this by means of legislation, self-regulation or co-regulation, most rely on general regulations which offer no real protection.

As with most things, we really need to rely on ourselves for regulating what matters in our lives.  Those who are influenced by our words and actions will tend to follow our lead, so we must be self-aware and practice what we know to be healthy choices.  We all have a very important role in this on-going health conscious revolution.  Let Smart for Life®make it a bit easier.  Keep some Smart for Life protein bars and cookies on hand for the kids when they want a snack.  They’re so delicious, affordable, healthy and easy.  What’s not smart about that?

To more healthier marketing, your health and happiness, -Dr. Sass

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If You Aren’t Feeding Your Kids Healthy, Whole Foods, Is Anyone?

It’s Time To Eat More Healthy, Whole Foods

I recently watched an amazingly eye-opening video, featuring Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution on healthy, whole foods.  Jamie’s a 34 year old, average citizen and chef from Essex, England, who has a not-so-average take on where we need to focus our attention, immediately.  Jamie’s message is simple and to the point: Teach our children about food.  It’s an all-out assault on our ignorance of food.  Our kids are going to live a shorter life span than us, by about ten years, if we don’t teach them how to shop for, prepare and eat real food.  The processed food and fast food that is the bulk of so many diets today is literally killing us.  Diet-related diseases are the biggest killers in the U.S. and two-thirds of our population is obese.  Those of us who are older are probably better off since these dangerous “pseudo foods” weren’t around or as prevalent when we were growing up, but think of the youth of today.  If we aren’t cooking in our homes, where are our kids going to learn about real food?  Jamie visited an elementary school classroom and showed them various fresh vegetables in their “whole state”.  Cauliflower, potato, beet, tomato, eggplant; the children could not identify any of them.

Healthy, Whole Foods Should Be The Standard In Daily Eating

healthy, whole foods kidsJamie’s been working on this revolution for seven years and believes the United States, as a leader, needs to take the wheel so the rest of the world will follow.  That’s why he came here and began in West Virginia, where obesity and related fatalities are so high.  He talked with families, teaching them how to teach others.  He has made himself available to the lunch ladies, convinced that the limited budgets can be creatively adjusted to provide healthy meals to the school-aged children.  Jamie is calling out for all of us to make the change for our own families and then spread the word, the recipes, and the information on healthy, whole foods that will change the health of our society, in general.

Being on the leading edge of change isn’t usually a comfortable place to be…but it’s the only place to be if you really want to make a difference.  Stepping out from the crowd is the way it’s always been done.  More so than ever before; it’s time to step up!

Jamie Oliver is one of a small army of concerned individuals who are carving out their own perfect way to make a difference.  As he so aptly points out in this video, if those of us who have valuable pieces of information to contribute, each get involved on a small grass roots level, the change will happen quickly.  As we share information with a few, who share with a few, the knowledge travels easily and effortlessly, like the ripples in a pond; reaching an ever-widening circle as we move forward as a healthier town, nation and world.

Do yourself, your family and your friends a favor by watching and sharing this video post.

To your health and happiness, -Dr. Sass. Eat healthy, whole foods for a healthier life you deserve. Get started with our healthy diet plans today!

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Poll Shows Obesity Top Threat to Children’s Health

obesityA new poll shows that adults consider obesity the number one threat to children’s health in the United States and many believe the problem is getting worse.

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.

Obesity is #1 Concern

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.”

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Another Reason To Keep Your Kids Away From Soda

keep your kids away from sodaYou’ve heard me talk about it before but there is yet again another study that shows how bad soda is for your kids and that you need to keep your kids away from soda.

Besides adding to childhood obesity, a new study in the Journal of Pediatrics shows 75% of children aged 5 to 12 consume caffeine and it may be keeping them up at one night.  And what is the primary source of their caffeine?  You guessed it – soda.  And the more caffeine the children had, the less they slept.

“I would suggest that parents simply be prudent and regulate the amount of caffeine their children consume,” says study author William J. Warzak, PhD, a professor of psychology in the department of pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical in Omaha. “They will not be the worse for wear if their caffeine consumption is restricted,” he says. The caffeine in the children’s diet came mainly from soft drinks.

So what is a moderate amount of caffeine in a 5-year-old or 10-year-old? “I don’t think we know the answer to that question,” he says.

“Most of the research into the health effects of caffeine has been with adults [and] there really is very little pertaining to children,” he says. “The FDA has not established recommended amounts of caffeine consumption in children, although the Canadian government has issued such guidelines and our respondents indicated that quite a few children push those limits.”

Avram Traum, MD, a pediatric nephrologist at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston, tells WebMD.com that the amount of caffeine children consumed in this and other studies is “shocking, staggering, and disturbing.”

Other Reasons To Keep Your Kids Away From Soda:

The new study looked at how caffeine may affect sleep and bed-wetting, but drinking so much soda may also have an effect on obesity and diseases associated with obesity, including high blood pressure in children, he says.

“There is no reason that school-aged children need caffeine. Period,” he says. The occasional cup of soda on a special occasion is OK, but children should not drink caffeine on a daily basis.

“Sodas are junk food and have no nutritional value,” says Charles Shubin, MD, director of pediatrics at Mercy FamilyCare, a division of Family Health Centers of Baltimore.

Ihuoma U. Eneli, MD, medical director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, is surprised at the amount of caffeine that children in the new study took in.

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Let’s Move! Creating Awareness Of Childhood Obesity

Dr. Sasson Moulavi, M.D. Commends the First Lady And Puts The Childhood Obesity Blame On The Parents.

Boca Raton, FL – February 16, 2010 – First Lady Michelle Obama has announced her new campaign against childhood obesity -Let’s Move!  And that’s just what she wants children to do.  And just because she knows the big man in the White House, do not expect the government to fund this initiative.

Boca Raton DoctorBariatric physician Dr. Sasson “Dr. Sass” Moulavi says, “I commend the First Lady for making people more aware of childhood obesity.  It’s an epidemic, an epidemic that was created by irresponsible food companies, parents and government.”

The first lady’s campaign has four parts: helping parents make better food choices, serving healthier food in school, making healthy food more available and affordable, and encouraging children to exercise more. Nowhere in her campaign does she mention that any government aide will be allocated for this initiative.

What parents need to realize is their child’s weight is their responsibility.  The first item on Mrs. Obama’s agenda is helping parents make better food choices.  This puts the problem right in the parents’ laps.  The government is not making these food choices for your child.  You are the parent.

Dr. Sass expresses his concern:  “My worry is some parents will sit back and wait for the government to come up with a magic plan.  It is not going to happen.  Although First Lady Michelle Obama may create awareness, parents need to realize they must take the initiative now.  They have to stop waiting for a solution to fall from the sky.  That’s just magical thinking.

“Unfortunately it comes down to money.  We all understand that your local municipal, state and federal governments are all underwater financially when it comes to school lunch programs.  It is cheaper to provide an eight cent doughnut than a healthy meal.  This is a budgetary choice without your children’s health and nutritional needs in mind.  As for the parents providing healthy nutrition in the house, the same food choices confront them in the supermarket and unfortunately the unhealthy, artificial foods are less expensive than the healthy foods”

As parents, you need to take the first step in helping your child have a strong and healthy future free of childhood obesity.  

About Smart For Life

Smart for Life® cookie diet is a comprehensive weight management approach to health and wellness which utilizes natural, hunger-controlling foods to deliver visible results. The company was started by Sasson Moulavi, M.D., “Dr. Sass,” on the principle of improving people’s lives by providing a quick, safe, easy and affordable means of weight control. Smart for Life’s e-commerce program is the hallmark of the business, providing an accessible weight-loss management program to consumers across the country.  In addition, over 30 weight-loss centers provide in-person counsel to consumers supporting the e-commerce program as well as the in-center medical weight loss program.

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Energy Drinks Affecting Waistline of America’s Youth

By Sasson Moulavi - November 30, 2006

Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers Educate Against Childhood Obesity

Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers warns parents against giving high-sugar energy drinks to children as these supercharged drinks are adding extra pounds to the continually growing obesity rate among children and adolescents in the United States.

 

Dr. Sasson Moulavi, Chief Medical Director of the Boca Raton based weight loss company explains, “The number of overweight children coming to our centers continue to grow. When I review the child’s current diet, I am finding an alarming trend – energy drinks. Not only are these drinks loaded with extra caffeine, which is not healthy for children, but also packed with empty calories.” With more than 500 different drinks on the market, the 3.4 billion dollar energy drink industry is willing and able to target young people with a barrage of marketing messages which includes using these drinks as a weight loss tool. This message can be misleading as just two cans can contain as much as 14 teaspoons of sugar.

Other Health Issues From Energy Drinks

In addition to gaining excess pounds, continual use of these drinks can lead to other health issues such as diabetes. Dr. Moulavi warns, “Parents, teachers and public officials should be aware of this growing, and very dangerous trend among our young people. Many current and future health related issues can be avoided if we teach our children to make healthy choices now, such as reaching for bottled water and not energy drinks.“

Smart for Life™ Weight Management Centers specialize in medically supervised weight loss programs and have locations throughout the United States and Canada with centers in cities as Boca Raton, FL; Beverly Hills, CA; New York, NY; Rochester Hills, MI; and Boston, MA. The Smart for Life™ Weight Management program helps clients make positive changes in their lives by helping them reach and maintain their weight loss goals.

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