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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  January 13, 2005
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Being A Healthy Role Model
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"Time For Kids"
Weight Watchers

The obesity problem has expanded from adults to kids and some parents are finding it more and more difficult to head off this obesity epidemic. So, we talked to some experts, young and old, to get some advice.

According to a recent study, a child has a 40% chance of becoming overweight if one parent is overweight.  That chance jumps to 80% if both parents are battling the bulge. In other words, parents are a prime example for their kids especially when it comes to being healthy.

"It's very important that if you want them to eat strawberries and blueberries, then it's what you should be eating too,." says Weight Watchers counselor Pat Giammarco.  She says parents should be prepared to take responsibility for their own weight and their kids'. "If they want to have potato chips, ok, but don't let them sit there with the bag and a lot of grownups do that. They grab the bag, sit on the couch and there you go."

Avery Stone of Providence is 12 years old. She's also a reporter for "Time For Kids" magazine. She recently covered a national obesity summit in Washington D.C.  Her focus - how companies market junk food to kids, but most of her expertise comes from her own experiences as a kid herself.  She says, "If a kids is brought up with a parent who exercises and who eats healthy they'll eat healthy foods. Parents are a definite role model for you."

It all comes down to simple things like turning off the TV and getting kids moving.  Also, try to forgo the "clean your plate" advice.  Most importantly... Communicate.   Avery says, "As soon as you understand what they're going through, the sooner you can really help to solve the problem.


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