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For Immediate Release

Help Children Start 2007 With a New Year’s Resolution For the Entire Family To Commit to a Healthy Lifestyle

Many adults start the new year with a resolution to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle. With 16 percent of young people considered overweight, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC experts encourage families to get healthier together and make a new year’s resolution to get fit in 2007.

The percentage of children who are overweight has more than doubled among young children ages 2 – 5 years and nearly tripled among school-aged children 6 – 19 years since 1980, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 9 million children over the age of 6 years are now considered obese.

At Children’s Weight Management and Wellness Center (WMWC), pediatric experts say there is an urgent need to address the root causes of the obesity problem instead of temporary solutions.

“We cannot instantly remedy the obesity problem in this country, but if we can teach children to implement a healthier lifestyle, we will see the obesity rates drop,” said Silva Arslanian, MD, director of the WMWC. “At Children’s Weight Management and Wellness Center, we try to help kids integrate healthy eating and physical activity into their daily routine so that they can sustain those behaviors. If the whole family institutes healthy lifestyle changes together, it will be easier for the child to maintain those modifications.”

Parents can help their children lead a healthier lifestyle by altering some common behaviors, such as:

  • Fast food: Limit fast food consumption to no more than once per week.
  • Sweet beverages: Limit sweet beverage consumption (artificial fruit juice, regular soda, sports drinks, energy drinks and chocolate milk) to no more than one 8 oz. serving per day.
  • Media time: Limit your child’s total media time (TV, Internet, video games) to no more than two hours per day.
  • Lack of family meals: Have dinner together as a family at least three times per week.
  • Lack of “habitual” (usual) activity: Encourage your child to be physically active in “free time” activities such as walking, taking the stairs and playing sports with friends for at least 30 minutes a day.

Learn more about Children’s Weight Management and Wellness Center.

Contacts:

Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919 or 412-692-5016, Marc.Lukasiak@chp.edu
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5502 or 412-692-5016, Melanie.Finnigan@chp.edu

Last Update
February 15, 2008
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Last Update
February 15, 2008
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