So, even for individuals going on a healthy diet, the body responds as if it is fighting off starvation. TRADITIONAL TREATMENT Unfortunately, there are very few resources for overweight teens. Currently, most clinicians do nothing until the teen is obese, but were trying to move toward a model where we dont wait until the person is behind the eightball, says Ochner. Our teen program shifts the model toward empowering them to set proper goals for their diet and exercise. Goal setting is the main tool for helping them form healthy eating and physical activity habits. Some researchers have found that teens dont respond well to the normal diet advice to count calories and cut calories. Instead of giving a ton of nutritional advice, we ask teens, What do you think your biggest culprit might be in terms of eating? And they know what it is: sitting down with a whole bag of chips, or eating a gallon of ice cream every few days, says Ochner. Then we ask, What would you like to improve in your eating habits? We want them to have specific and measurable goals: to substitute something healthy, or to eat a little less of something unhealthy. Each teen also makes his or her own exercise plan.
The end of obesity, sort of
Obesity Rate for Young Children Plummets 43% in a Decade reported The New York Times, further explaining that the drop offered the first clear evidence that Americas youngest children have turned a corner in the obesity epidemic. The Washington Post reported that the data provided another encouraging sign in the fight against one of the countrys leading public health problems, but didnt mention the sample size. And the Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted the New York Times coverage, calling the decline stunning. The Philadelphia Inquirer trumpeted the drop with a misleading headline : Obesity Rate Shows Signs of Leveling Off, though the body of the article read much more pessimistically, quoting the studys author in the third graf, saying her data showed no change in youth or adults. So much for leveling off. The press releases for the study make it a bit clearer how one small statistic came to dominate the story of the newly released data. The JAMA press release (find it here ) gives a thorough summary of the findings, titled Obesity Prevalance Remains High in U.S.; No Significant Change in Recent Years. But a press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provided the data for the study, has a more uplifting messagestarting with its title: New CDC data show encouraging development in obesity rates among 2 to 5 year olds. (Read the whole thing here .) Though the CDC release says that the precise reasons for the drop in obesity are not clear, it follows up the statement with some encouraging quotes about government-run obesity prevention programs. Weve also seen signs from communities around the country with obesity prevention programs, CDC Director Tom Frieden says in the release. This confirms that at least for kids, we can turn the tide and begin to reverse the obesity epidemic. The release continues with a quote from Michelle Obama, celebrating the Lets Move anniversary: Healthier habits are beginning to become the new norm. CDCs press releases include the data and also provide perspective on broader issues, wrote Karen Hunter, a senior press officer with the CDC, when I emailed her asking about the difference in the releases. She also wrote that the JAMA release focused solely on the science. The connection to Lets Move wasnt an accident; the news tied in well with the First Ladys events this week marking the 4th anniversary of Lets Move, wrote Hunter.