Even small lifestyle changes - such as drinking one less soda a day and walking an extra 2,000 steps - can help keep kids from gaining excessive weight, researchers say.
In a recent study evaluating the America on the Move Foundation's Families on the Move program, half of the families studied made these lifestyle changes and half did not. After six months, two-thirds of the children in the Families on the Move group maintained or lowered their Body Mass Index (a measure of weight that takes height into account), while half the children in the comparison group actually increased their BMI.
"It's all about small changes," says James O. Hill, M.D., lead author of the study conducted by the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, "because small changes are sustainable and big changes are not in most people."
For more information about Families on the Move, visit www.americaonthemove.org.
Christina Elston is the contributing health editor for United Parenting Publications.
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