HARLOW, England, March 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- New research from weight-loss and weight-management experts LighterLife shows that a third of overweight and obese people have been overweight or obese since childhood[i]. Research conducted amongst LighterLife clients shows the detrimental long term impact of a poor relationship with food from a young age. With an ever increasing emphasis on childhood obesity as rates soar - over 30% of children aged 2 to 15 years old in the UK are currently obese[ii], it is clear that more needs to be done to ensure healthy eating habits start at an early age.
We also know that being overweight or obese runs in families with 5 out of 10 children who have one obese parent, likely to become obese themselves and a worrying 8 out of 10 will do so if both their parents are overweight[iii]. It is vital that parents understand the long term impact of early food associations and encourage healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food instead of using food as a way to reward, incentivise or console their children.
Psychological and training specialist, Helen Goldstein says "This research shows that a surprisingly high percentage of overweight and obese people were in the unhealthy weight category as children. It also highlights how important it is for parents to give more thought to how they may be using food in the family. We know that obese parents often raise obese children so it is imperative for overweight adults to try to change their own relationship with food and set a healthy example. Unhelpful habits can develop for many reasons and may be triggered by a number of things. Luckily these habits and this mindset can be interrupted and healthy relationships developed.
[i] LighterLife Data on File 2011
[ii] Health Survey for England [HSE], 2008
[iii] http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Obesity-and-Overweight-in-Children.htm Last viewed Mar 11
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* The new ready meal products will not be sold to LighterLife clients
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