Tag Archives | obesity

This Healthy Eating Trick Isn’t Always Best For Teens

Drink a cold glass of water before each meal. Eat a big, nutritious breakfast. Keep a food journal. Use smaller plates. We’ve all heard the tips and tricks to help you change your eating habits, but do they really work? A new study shows that at least one doesn’t, particularly for overweight teens.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut tested how attentive teen girls were to portion sizes and quizzed them about their perception of the amount of food on different sized plates. There were 162 girls ages 14 to 18 involved in the study. The researchers found that overweight teenage girls were less attentive, on average, to these visual cues of different types than their peers.


Teens Can Boost Their Grades with Breakfast

It can tough to find enough time on weekdays for a nutritious breakfast. Between staying up late studying for exams and chatting online with friends, some teens can hardly wake up on time for class. Sitting down to a healthy breakfast is just one more thing to do in the morning and it can be easy to brush off. A new study shows why your teens shouldn’t skip it—especially if they want a better shot at doing well on that exam.

Researchers at the University of Iowa found that students who ate free school nutritious breakfasts performed better academically. They also found that students who attend schools that participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s School Breakfast Program have higher achievement scores in math, science, and reading than those in schools who don’t participate, according to a recent press release from the university. The impact was actually cumulative. The longer the school participated in the program, the higher their achievement scores were.


No More Shame — The Social and Emotional Roots of Obesity

Sorry folks, but we’re going about this all wrong.

As teachers, we know that shaming rarely works to motivate behavior change, yet it still seems to be the focus of our fight against obesity.

Full disclosure here: I’m a health teacher, but I was not a healthy teen. I understand the damage of fat-shaming on a personal level, and it’s hard not to get angry about it… even though I now experience it from the other side. I’m constantly caught off guard when I hear people that I respect — people who only know me at my current size — making judgmental comments about other people based solely on their weight.


Eating Dinner as a Family May Help Fight Obesity

Obesity is a major problem among American youth today. Childhood obesity has quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. While the statistics are scary-high, there are ways to fight obesity and help prevent it. A new study shows that eating dinner as a family lessens the likelihood of teens being overweight.


Study Finds Obese or Overweight Teens More Likely to Smoke Cigarettes

In a study recently published in the American Journal of Health Behavior, researchers sought to answer the question of whether BMI had any correlation with teenage substance abuse. The results found that though teens with a high BMI were no more likely than their peers to abuse alcohol or marijuana, being overweight or obese during adolescence was correlated with regular cigarette smoking in young adulthood. Data for this study was pulled from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a large study which has followed thousands of young teens (grades […]


Does Junk Food Change The Way The Body Craves Healthier, More Balanced Meals?

Oftentimes scientist conduct experiments on rats, as a way to test theories regarding the human body. In a new study, researchers decided to investigate what happens when consuming a diet consisting of junk food. The findings suggest that it leads to obesity (unsurprising), but also reduces the appetite for healthier, more balanced foods. While this was a study of animals, the same results may very well be true for humans.


Even Doctors Think School Should Start Later

On Monday, news broke that the country’s largest pediatrician group, the American Academy of Pediatrics, is advocating for later start times at schools. Yup, doctors are saying what we’ve known for awhile: Teens’ bodies function better with more sleep. And because of the way teens’ bodies function biologically, they stay awake later. According to USA Today, the AAP says starting school for middle and high school students after 8:30 a.m. is “an effective countermeasure to chronic sleep loss.”


Another Reason to Catch Some zZzs: Lack of Sleep Increases Teens’ Obesity Risks

Another day, another study proving the benefits of a good night’s sleep. In case you still need convincing that slumbering is important, new research suggests that teens who don’t get enough rest increase their risk of being obese in their twenties.

This study was conducted at Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health. They found that 16-year-olds who got less than six hours of sleep a night were 20 percent more likely to be obese by age 21.


Time to Put Down the Remote? 3 in 4 Teens Watch Too Much TV!

With shows like Pretty Little Liars and Game of Thrones dominating TV screens, it’s no wonder teens are spending tons of time on the couch. But just how much television are they watching? According to new research from the National Center for Health Statistics, only 27 percent of teens ages 12-15 are under the government recommended limit of two hours or less of TV time. That means nearly three out of four teens watch way too much television.

USA Today reports that 99 percent of adolescents said they watch TV daily. Among those teens, 7 percent watch five or more hours a day, and 5 percent spend five hours or more on the computer.