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Combating obesity in teens to head off adult weight problems

BOOSTER SHOTS: Oddities, musings and news from the
health world

November 10, 2010|By Mary Forgione, For the Los Angeles Times
(Evan Vucci / Associated…)

Obese teens are carrying more than extra pounds — they also carry the risk of becoming obese adults.

The findings come from a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., as reported here in a Los Angeles Times story:

"The results not only confers profound health risks for teens whose excess weight follows them and accelerates into adulthood, it also spells a looming public health disaster in a country where almost one in five adolescents is obese, experts say."

How to combat the problem? Advice abounds for parents, starting when kids are born. Some medical experts say breastfeeding cuts the risk of obesity. And at the other extreme, gastric bands seem to be effective in helping severely obese teens, a study finds.

Dr. David Ludwig, co-author of "Ending the Food Fight," says the solution is simple – "eat less, exercise more" -- but he also outlines the "battles" that ensue with kids overeating and weight control and offers tips on a diet program for the whole family.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers many resources on what parents and kids can do to take control of their weight, including links to First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign.

And there’s a way to involve children to make healthy eating fun too. Here are some slimmed down recipes kids can help make at Kidshealth.org

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