Dr. Ludwig’s Ending the Food Fight: Guide Your Child to a Healthy Weight in a Fast Food/Fake Food World (2007) reports on what he learned from the 5,000 children who have participated in his Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program.[i] When Dr. Ludwig taught the children visiting him at his clinic to eat low-glycemic foods, they experienced weight loss without limiting the number of calories they ate. Food that increase blood sugar and weight include bread, pasta, candy, soda, and other refined foods with white flour and sugar. Dr. Ludwig teaches children to choose “real foods” instead of “fake foods.” A simple way to explain this is by pointing out the nutritional differences between an apple and something that comes from a vending machine.
The Packard Pediatric Weight Control Program helps kids sign contracts to reduce the number of unhealthy red-light foods they eat. Kids learn to tell the difference between red light foods like hamburgers that are not OK, yellow light foods like meat which can be eaten a little bit, and green light for vegetables and water that should be eaten a lot. Kids scoop out spoons of Crisco fat to see that hamburgers have about six to eight spoons of fat or measure a 12-ounch tube of sugar to see how much sugar is in one can of soda.
Diets don’t work, as most people regain their weight. I asked a Nutrition Professor how to lose weight.[ii]
In a nut-shell, people need to learn how to take the focus off of weight and put the focus on improving fitness and start eating a variety of enjoyable foods and accept their body however it turns out. An individual can be healthy regardless of their size. The media tells us how we’re supposed to look. We have to tell the media that beauty can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Dieters, obsessed with their weight, often label food as ‘good’ and ‘bad’, which sends them into a vicious guilt-repent cycle. This leads to yo-yo dieting which causes both physiologic and psychological damage. Food is meant to be enjoyed, not the bad guy! I encourage people to read Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works.
Most addictive behaviors need a support group with a buddy to strengthen your resolve to be healthy. For more resources for healthy weight, see this endnote.[iii]
[ii] Dawn Clifford, PhD, RD, Assistant Professor and Dietetic Program Director
Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, California State University, January 27, 2010 email.
[iii] Americanheart.org/healthierkids or clintonfoundation.org
Live It! A program to help sixth-graders to exercise and heat healthy foods. Kids are encouraged to take at least 10,000 steps a day. Liveitprogram.com