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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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Sugary Drinks Linked to Diabetes

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.

How About One Sugary Drink?

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.

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Study: Most Obese Moms, and Their Kids, Underestimate Their Weight

They underestimate their weight…With obesity and weight issues affecting nearly 2/3 of adults and 1/3 of children in the U.S., it seems to be changing our perception of what’s considered heavy.

Those who are carrying unhealthy extra pounds are more likely to see their weight as normal, and are therefore unlikely to feel the need to drop some of those pounds.

The latest indication for this was presented recently at an American Heart Association conference.  Columbia University researchers reported the preliminary results of a study that found that overweight mothers and children tend to underestimate their own – and each other’s – weight.

“A lot of their misperception has to do with the fact that overweight and obesity is becoming the norm,” says the lead author of the study, Nicole E. Dumas, M.D., an internal medicine resident at Columbia University Medical Center, in New York.

The study included 222 mostly Latino mothers and children who were recruited at a children’s health clinic in an urban setting.  The research team interviewed the participants about their medical history and social background and also measured their height, weight and BMI (body mass index).

Almost 2/3 of the mothers were overweight or obese.  Nearly 40% of the children, who ranged in age from 7 to 13, were also overweight or obese.  The vast majority of the overweight people weighed more than they thought they did — and the heavier they were, the more likely they were to underestimate their weight.

82% of the obese women underestimated their weight, compared with 43% of overweight and 13% of normal-weight women.  Likewise, 86% of overweight or obese children failed to correctly estimate their weight, compared with just 15% of normal-weight children.

“There was a trend that showed that as women became more and more overweight, and then obese, the larger the misperception of true body weight was,” says Dumas. “Unfortunately, we found this was the case with the children as well.”

The participants’ misperceptions were not limited to how they viewed themselves.  Almost ½ of the mothers who had an overweight child believed their child’s weight to be normal.  And even though more than 80% of the women were overweight, only 41% of the children thought their moms needed to lose weight. So you see it was very easy for them to underestimate their weight.

Get started towards a healthy weight and life today!

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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.

Smartforlife® healthy products are the answer. Get yours HERE.

Junk Food Is Everywhere

potato-chips-junk-foodJunk food is now everywhere on our planet.  High in calories but low in nutritional value, junk food is available in the most unlikely places:  museums, cruise ships, city parks, and school hallway vending machines.  It is inescapable in grocery stores and fast-food restaurants.

In all children 12-18 years old, critical growth, bond building and amassing of nutrients such as calcium are taking place.  Your grandchild’s body will never be as efficient at performing those functions to ensure a healthy future as it is while they are teens.  Eating large amounts of junk food has far-reaching consequences.  Here are just a few:

 

  • Teens have greater access to junk food and more control over how they spend money than your younger grandchildren.  Teens who fill up on empty calories will have less appetite for a nutritious main meal, and it’s unlikely they are taking in all the nutrients necessary for growth and development.  Key nutrients such as calcium from dairy and protein from meats help bones and muscles strengthen and grow.
  • Teens who don’t consume enough of the needed nutrients tend to feel fatigued.  This can lead to poor concentration and test performance.  Instead, encourage them to eat “brain foods” such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables and dairy foods that are rich in vitamin D and calcium.
  • Weight gain is a consequence of regularly consuming high-fat, high-sugar and high-calorie junk food.  Kids who become overweight or obese during adolescence are likely to maintain an unhealthy weight as adults, with associated healthy consequences that include heart disease, diabetes, joint problems, poor self-esteem and even cancer.  By encouraging healthy food choices during your grandchild’s teenage years, you can give them a higher chance of a healthy adult life.

 Tips to help your teen eat more healthy with less junk food:

  1. If you must have fast-food, choose a fast-food restaurant that offers healthier choices.  And no matter where you are, opt for food and beverages that are high in nutrients.  Avoid sweetened beverages and fried foods.  Good choices include: freshly squeezed orange juice, whole-wheat bagel, bean burrito, pizza topped with veggies, grilled chicken sandwich on a whole grain bun.
  2. Look for products low in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, refined grains and partially hydrogenated oils.  Choose a 100 percent whole-wheat cracker made with canola oil, for example or snack on a cheeses and fruit plate instead of a bowl of cheese puffs.
  3. Limit TV viewing when the grandkids visit.  Certain shows seem to attract more junk food commercials than others, so you might want to discourage your grandkids from watching these shows.  Get them involved in outdoor activities!

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Double Calamity Of Childhood Obesity Ignored By Parents

childhood obesityThere are many pitfalls to childhood obesity. Health and emotional problems plaguing the next generations must be addressed now. Millions of kids who are obese will likely suffer from verbal abuse, societal ostracism, stigmas, health problems and eventually die at a young age. The double calamity will occur if parents continue to avoid the problem and ignore the cries for help from our children declares Dr. Sasson Moulavi, M.D., founder of the Smart for Life® Cookie Diet and its children’s lifestyle program THINADVENTURE™.

“I am amazed by the lack of concern I see from parents about childhood obesity,” said Dr. Sass. “They have either given up or push the problem to the back of their minds. Instead, they should be shouting from the rooftops for help.”

Dr. Sass is constantly shocked by the amount of parents who ignore their own weight problems instead of losing weight as a great example. Being obese has become normal in our society; notice the size increase in transportation seating, furniture, even caskets. Dr. Sass equates it to walking around with a 40-pound tumor in your abdomen and not seeking help.

The Parents Control The Childhood Obesity With The Food they Provide

Most overweight adults have a choice when it comes to food. Kids do not. They are obese due to circumstances beyond their control. Adults, who are also parents, working in the food manufacturing industry (formulator, manufacturer, supermarket merchandiser, etc.) start a chain of unhealthy choices. Poor quality foods are everywhere – on store shelves and in school cafeterias providing poor quality snacks to fill children’s bellies but not meet nutritional requirements.

Overweight and obese kids will not only die younger from childhood obesity but suffer from more diseases than if they were at a healthy weight. Dr. Sass explains, “This is our first calamity – Global Warming and the War on Terror will be a small mosquito bite compared to this growing cancer.”

The second calamity is the emotional suffering overweight kids experience as teens. A collective body of research clearly indicates that obese children are stigmatized and subject to discrimination by their peers. This emotional suffering is very intense and severe. (Schwartz and Puhl, 2003; Strauss and Pollack, 2003).

To start correcting these childhood obesity problems, parents need to take a stand with their kids and then with all channels involved in the food manufacturing industry. Enormous as the problem is, it will only increase in size as it becomes the norm in our society. Eventually, these generations will become adults who fall victim to our neglect.

Dr. Sass urges adults to correct the problems first with their own kids. “If you work together as a family, it’s easier. Seek advice from your pediatrician, school, and companies such as ours who have plans that not only work but are easy-to-follow. Commit to this plan – not just for a week or two, but for long term. Giving up will only show you are weak and your kids will suffer.”

Get started with SmartforLife® today for you and your kids to enjoy and lose weight!

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Parents Need A Backbone If They Want Healthy Kids

Obese Hungry Boy With Giant Burger
January 21, 2010 – Boca Raton, FL –
 Many parents become passive when it comes to their children’s food choices and aren’t raising healthy kids.  The growing epidemic of obesity in America is a strong indicator of this lapse in parenting and the lack of healthy kids.  With the variety of resources available from the USDA My Pyramid program to local schools’ curriculum, Dr. Sasson (“Dr. Sass”) Moulavi, M.D., is surprised by parents’ neglect when it comes to allowing poor food choices for children.

“Recently in my office, concerned parents brought in their 12-year-old girl because she was 30 pounds overweight and complaining of fatigue. During the educational process, this child turned to her parents and told them that she will decide what to eat and what to buy, and they can’t do anything about it.  Then she left the center and her parents could not get her back in,” comments Dr. Sass who is Board Certified in Bariatric Medicine.

Dr. Sass has observed good intending parents hoping to improve kids’ weight issues with healthier foods become overpowered by kids’ aggressive, degrading speech.  Usually, the parents do not react with any significant or meaningful response. Instead, the child gets away with it.

Many parents find it difficult to refuse children’s poor choices when it comes to nutrition.  Frequently, shopping carts are filled with high fat, high sugar foods that are convenient and easy to give to children.

Further recommendations from Dr. Sass listed below can start the conversation and introduce new “rules”.  On-going parenting is necessary to teach kids about good nutrition and choices to be made.

  • Explain food groups and ask where their favorite foods fall.
  • Show kids nutrition panels of foods to compare calories, fat, sugars, sodium – that alone may prompt them to make healthier choices.  Arm them with information for them to be in control.  Rarely will a kid seriously choose something unhealthy when given facts.  If they do…put your foot down and tell them that you will not allow it.
  • Allow occasional splurges kids can earn them track per day.  Cutting back on 1-2/day will be a start.
  • For young children, be the family’s “Healthy Hero” and challenge them to pick nutritious choices in a fun, light manner.

In addition, Dr. Sass is working on a FREE educational weight loss video that will be available for parents on youtube.com and at SmartforLife.com.

About Smart For Life®

Smart for Life® Cookie Diet is a comprehensive weight management approach to health and wellness utilizing natural, hunger-controlling foods to deliver 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.

About Thin Adventure™

THIN ADVENTURE™ is a healthy lifestyle program for children developed by successful Smart for Life® Cookie Diet creator Sasson Moulavi, M.D.  Working to impact the nationwide obesity epidemic, the company followed the natural progression to fight childhood obesity with this new children’s program – the only one of its kind.  THIN ADVENTURE was created to provide a tasty, quick, safe way for children to lose weight and lead healthy lives.  The program follows the U.S.D.A. Pyramid Guidelines for children and incorporates THIN ADVENTURE foods with fresh fruit, vegetables, milk and protein.

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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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