More evidence today that Breast is Best

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The American Academy of Personal Training

A new study finds that formula fed babies started too early on solid foods are more likey to be obese compared to those that are breast fed alone.  According to the report, babies who were given solid foods before 4 months of age were six times more likely to become obese by age 3.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents delay solid foods until at least 4-6 months.  Interestingly, breast fed babies had no increased risk of obesity regardless of when they were started on solids.  Doctors recommend mothers breast feed exclusively for the first 6 months of life, and continue until at least a year while other foods are introduced along the way.  75% of American babies are breast fed, half of those nursed for less than 4 months.

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Parents can be a bad role model for their kids

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of American Academy of Personal Training

Parents, like it or not, you are a role model for your kids…especially when it comes to smoking.  New research shows there is a definite family connection for smokers which transfers from parents to their children.  According to the report, a father who smokes definitely influences his son to start smoking.  The same is true between mother and daughter.  This connection typically stays between the sexes.  A mother’s smoking does not influence her son and a smoking father does not influence his daughter.

So parents, now you have yet another reason to put those cigarettes out for good.  You are setting an unhealthy example for your kids.

 

Child obesity linked to lack of sleep?

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of AAPT

How much sleep does your child get on the weekends?  The answer to this question may give you some indication as to whether your child is at risk for gaining weight.  According to a report in the American Journal of Pediatrics, overweight children are more likely to stay up late on the weekends.  The children averaged 8 hours per night throughout the week, but on the weekends the obese children had shorter and more irregular sleep patterns.

If kids do not get enough sleep it starts a vicious cycle triggering hormones that can make them more hungry, hence increasing the risk of obesity even further.  The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that pre-school aged children get 11-13 hours of nightly sleep, while school aged children should get 10-11 hours per night.

Tips to help support your bullied child

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of AAPT

Is your child being bullied at school?  One of the best ways to help is to get him involved at school.  Studies show that schools that build positive connections between the staff and students have a lower incidence of bullying.  Be sure to let the teachers and the school principal know that bullying is occurring.  The child that’s causing the bullying needs counseling to understand the consequences of his actions.  Talk to your child and let him know that he shouldn’t blame himself when people are mean to him.  Encourage him to write out or draw his feelings in a picture.  Sometimes this type of expressive therapy can be very helpful.  Most importantly, your child needs to connect with a peer group for support and friendship.  Be proactive – the bullying needs to be diffused quickly because it can escalate.

Another reason to put out that cigarette…for good

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The Academy

Parents, here is yet another reason to put away the cigarettes – do it for your children!  A new study suggests that kids of smokers are at increased risk for developing high blood pressure…as a child.

Over 4000 kids were followed for this study.  The team found that after taking into account other heart disease risk factors like low birth weight and obesity, children who were exposed to second-hand smoke were 21% more likely to develop high blood pressure during childhood; and it seems that moms who smoke pose an even greater risk to their kids.

Over 46,000 Americans die each year as a result of living with a smoker.

Fat babies lead to unhealthy adults

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The Academy

One third of babies in the U.S. are far too chubby, and its not cute!  In fact, it can be a predictor of serious health risks ahead.  A new study finds that babies who are overweight at nine months are likely to be among the heaviest by the time they reach 2 years old.  Researchers used a database of more than 10,000 children and found that 62% of those babies were either overweight or obese by the time they were 2.

Experts are now warning that this generation may be the first in two centuries to have a shorter life span than their parents.  This does not mean that parents should put their children on a diet.  Instead, experts recommend you start introducing healthy food choices as soon as your baby starts to eat solid food.