By Tanya Jolliffe, for SparkPeople
Many things have changed since 1971. Back then, there were no cell phones, personal computers, or the internet. There was also no satellite TV, music came from 45 records or albums, and you couldn't find online dining guides to make wise choices for the rare occasion when you would eat away from home. What has also changed is the rate of obesity in young people.
Researchers have recently analyzed historical height and weight data from 1971 to 2008 for U.S. children between the ages of two and 19. Evaluating the trends during that time led researchers to project an increase in childhood obesity to 21 percent by the year 2020 compared to today's rate of almost 17 percent. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services wants to see the obesity rate decline to 14.6 percent instead.
Unfortunately, since so many Americans are overweight, many parents have a hard time taking a good look at their children's weight. A new DHHS study estimates children
Blog Posts by SparkPeople.com
- SparkPeople.com | Parenting – Tue, Jun 5, 2012 11:30 AM EDT
By Tanya Jolliffe, for SparkPeopleRead More »from Cut 64 Calories a Day, End Childhood Obesity? Here's How
By Jennipher Walters, for SparkPeopleRead More »from How to Create the Perfect Workout Playlist
You know that scene in High Fidelity where John Cusack is touting the importance of the perfectly crafted mix tape? A tape that has to kick off with a killer track to grab attention, then take it up a notch, then cool it off a notch?
Sure, that guy was creating a playlist to woo a girl, but he was on to something. Little did he know, he was also giving us words of wisdom on how to best create a set of tunes for a high-energy workout. Below are the seven main components of any good workout playlist, no matter the musical genre. (In fact, I find that the more eclectic the playlist, the more exciting-and surprising-it can be!)
Follow these guidelines to craft a playlist before your next workout, and you're sure to stay engaged and pumped the entire time. After all, music--especially the right music--can make working out more fun!
1. Warm-Up Song
Like John Cusack says, you have to kick off a playlist with a killer track that grabs attention.
By Erin Whitehead, for SparkPeople
The surefire solution for weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume by exercising and eating less. But as anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows, ''eating less'' isn't always easy. Luckily, these tips and tricks will help you enjoy your food, consume fewer calories and help you train your brain to stop when you're satisfied--not stuffed!
Ditch the Bag
When you've got a hankering for potato chips or another snack, don't just mindlessly eat from the bag or box. Instead, portion out a single serving into a small bowl. This way, you know exactly how much you're eating and aren't left mindlessly munching until the bag is empty.Give Your Utensil a Rest
In the rush of daily life, it can be easy to see mealtime as just another to-do. But rushing through meals can make you eat too much since it takes your brain awhile to register that your stomach is getting full. Put down your fork between bites to take your time and really savorRead More »from 20 Easy Ways to Cut Calories
By Sarah Haan, for SparkPeople
You're eating your veggies and watching your portions, but is there a way to make your meals even better for you? These 6 habits will help you take your healthy choices to the next level so you can get more nutritional bang for your buck.
Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning that dietary fat must be available for your body to absorb those nutrients. So if you're eating raspberries, spinach and carrots, great! However, to get the most out of foods rich in these fat-soluble vitamins, eat a little heart-healthy fat at the same time. Add diced avocado or an olive oil-based dressing to a spinach salad, enjoy a handful of walnuts with your raspberries, or dip your carrots into hummus. The good fats will aid in the absorption of the key nutrients found in fruits and veggies, making these healthy foods even better for you!Cook Smart--and Fast
Most veggies retain their shape and texture even after cooking. But overcooking them (orRead More »from 6 Sneaky Ways to Add More Nutrition to Your Meals
By Bryn Mooth, for SparkPeopleRead More »from 5 Signs You're Stuck in a Food Rut
What's for dinner? What are you eating for breakfast or lunch tomorrow?
If you aren't feeling excited about your meals, or if your kids are complaining about eating chicken again, you may be in a food rut.
It happens easily; between work obligations, social plans, and kids' soccer practices, we tend to fall back on easy-to-prepare staple meals that don't require much thought or effort. And for some of us, cooking doesn't come easily or isn't a pleasure, so we rely on a handful of recipes we can confidently prepare.
While it's wonderful to have a few go-to meals you can rely on in a pinch, it can get old when you rely on the same meals too often. And that lack of excitement about what's on your plate could lead you to reach for additional snacks or sweets to bring more pleasure back to your eating-which can be a problem if you're trying to manage your weight or eat healthier.
We recently asked SparkPeople members if they were
By Nicole Nichols, Managing Editor and Fitness Expert at SparkPeople
You hear all the time that to lose weight, you should track what you eat. Well, a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that keeping a "food diary" may double your weight loss efforts.Read More »from Lose Twice the Weight by Tracking Your Food
Researchers from Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research kept tabs on 1,685 overweight and obese adults (men and women), whose average weight was 212 pounds. The researchers encouraged participants to adhere to a reduced-calorie, DASH eating plan and asked them record their daily food intake and exercise minutes.
After 20 weeks, the average weight loss was 13 pounds per person. But researchers discovered something else; the more participants recorded what they ate, the more weight they lost in the end. Participants who did not keep a food diary lost about 9 pounds over the course of the study, while those who recorded their food intake six or more days per week lost 18 pounds-twice
- SparkPeople.com | Shine Food – Fri, May 25, 2012 10:09 AM EDT
Food Showdown: Greek Yogurt vs. Cottage CheeseMelinda Hershey, for SparkPeople
Over the past few years, Greek-style yogurt has skyrocketed in popularity among health-conscious dairy fans. It's become almost impossible to pass by the dairy case without spotting multiple flavors and brands of the creamy treat. While Greek yogurt has been busy making a name for itself in the high-protein snack category, cottage cheese, its distant, long-lost cousin, has been pushed to the side. But is Greek yogurt really nutritionally superior to cottage cheese? Ounce per ounce, which of these snacks will give you more protein bang for your buck?
More from SparkPeople:
It's All Greek Yogurt to Me
- 15 New Ways to Use Protein Powder
- Facts on Milk and Lactose Intolerance
- How to Buy the Best Yogurt
- It's All Greek Yogurt to Me
What is Miso Paste?By Chef Meg Galvin, Healthy Cooking Expert at SparkPeople.com
Though it's just been available for a few years here, miso paste has been around for centuries. Though the first iteration, made in China almost two millennia ago, was made from fish bones, it was used much in the same way it is today. The ingredients have changed (thank goodness!) and miso today is made from fermented rice, barley, soy beans and even my favorite, buckwheat. Though its primary flavor is salty, miso can be very subtle or complex with fruity, salty, and umami notes. The darker the miso the more flavor and depth it will add to the dish.
Miso, like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut, contains probiotics, which aid digestion by creating microbial balance in the GI tract. Those delicate probiotics lose their effectiveness if miso is boiled.
I often use in the raw state or in cooked dishes that require shorter cooking times. I prefer to use miso in place of salt in lots of my dishes, such as salmon,Read More »from Superfood Spotlight: Miso Paste
Learn how to listen to your body, and you'll avoid workout burnout.
By Nicole Nichols, Managing Editor and Fitness Expert at SparkPeople
You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.Read More »from Habits of Fit People: Listen to Your Body
Here's one that works for me: Listening to my body. It may seem counterintuitive to the "no pain, no gain" philosophy so that so many subscribe to, but listening to how you feel really makes a difference in your workouts. How?
Your body is one smart cookie. If you're really listening, it'll tell you important things like when you're tired, hungry, stressed or sick, and hopefully, you'll trust your body and honor its signals most of the time. But it can also give you signs when you're sore, injured, or exhausted-all of which could be clues that you need to cut back on your current workout routine. The opposite is also true; I find that I can tell when I have energy to burn, which often happens if I'm slacking in the gym or having a really stressful
3 Super Fishy Sources of Omega-3sBy Chef Meg Galvin, Healthy Cooking Expert at SparkPeople.comYou probably already know that salmon and other fatty fish are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, those fats that boost brain and heart health while helping lower bad cholesterol.
Did you know that there are several other super sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, and they're easy to prepare! All you need to do is open the can and start cooking. What are these fish? Anchovies, sardines, and mackerel. Don't wrinkly your nose! Keep reading to find out how to prep these fishy little fish and reap their health benefits.
So why are these fish not as popular as the "chicken of the sea"? The nose knows. People are often put off with their strong fishy smell and the soft bones (a good source of calcium!).
Use their strong flavor to your advantage--a little goes a long way. Use them as a way to infuse a dish with the essence of the ocean. Italians use anchovies in pasta sauces and on pizzas; the KoreansRead More »from 3 Super Fishy Sources of Omega-3s