Overweight parents wanting to help their overweight preschoolers shed some pounds might see better results if they approach the problem as a family affair.
So concludes a study published in the journal Pediatrics which tested a new family weight control program among 96 overweight or obese children between the ages of 2 and 5.
For 1 year, the parents of about 1/2 the children attended group sessions at a pediatrician's office where standard nutrition and exercise guidance focused solely on helping their offspring lose weight.
The other group paired the children with 1 of their parents who was also overweight or obese. But in addition to providing standard weight-loss information pediatric assistants trained in psychology, nutrition and exercise science counseled the parents on how to improve the whole family's attitude and approach towards dieting and exercise.
The result: 2 years out, children in the family program were found to be gaining weight at a much more healthy pace than those in the other group. What's more, their parents ended up losing an average of 14 pounds!
I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.