Dr SEARS L.E.A.N. Series: Raising Healthy, not Obese Kids

Image from www.commonsensemedia.org/research

This is a fortnightly series focused on raising healthy children, following the advice on DrSearsLean.com. Marcie Mom came across Dr Sears’ Lifestyle-Exercise-Attitude-Nutrition approach for healthy families and found it to be practical and fun to follow. However, parents of eczema children may have reservation on certain healthy tips such as bringing their child for swimming (‘Lifestyle’) or eating fruits and vegetables (‘Nutrition’). This series examine if there’s truly a need to restrict eczema children from following the LEAN tips and take note of DrSearsLEAN’s recommendation at the end of each post!

‘Set an Example’ – It’s easier to exercise as a family

The second Exercise tip on DrSearsLean.com is to ‘set an example’ – which is encouraging parents to go for walks and get their children to walk with them. There are other fun tips to exercise as a family such as ‘develop a routine’, ‘play sports together as a family’ and ‘have each person pick a different family exercise or activity to learn together’. It’s even more important to encourage each family member to keep fit because obesity is contagious! As written on the Exercise tip page, ‘The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a study that showed that if one spouse is obese, the other is 37 percent more likely to become obese, too’. For families with children with eczema, it is even more important because there appears to be a link between obesity and eczema.

Obesity and Eczema

In a study conducted by Dr. Jonathan Silverberg, dermatologist at St Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital (New York), there’s increased risk of developing severe eczema for children who are obese. Particularly, for children who became obese between age 2 to 5, the risk is three times higher than non-obese children. A later study focusing on adults gave similar results but the good thing is in both studies, eczema symptoms improved when weight is reduced. Another study in Sweden also showed that hand eczema co-relates with individuals who are obese, have higher stress and smokes. The reason for obesity affecting eczema could be due to obesity resulting in inflammation in fat tissue, which overtime, can affect the skin. Knowing this, I’m even more determined now to get my husband and child who have eczema out of the house for a good workout!

DrSearsLEAN’s recommendation

Moving around and being active is one habit kids can learn easily, especially if their parents set a good example. Rather than thinking of movement as “exercise”, think of it as “play”! Running, hopping, skipping, jumping, riding a bike, etc, – These are all things kids (and parent) naturally enjoy. Movement does far more than just help control obesity. Moving more improves mood, helps you to feel better, improves sleep, helps digestion, encourages self-confidence, and more! Take some time to play with your child everyday. It will benefit both of you immensely!

Read Dr. Jim’s tips on how to choose the correct sport or activity for your child. http://www.drsearslean.com/2012/01/finding-the-right-sports/

MarcieMom: Thank you Dr. Sears for your recommendation. Next interview, we’ll start looking at your Attitude Tips!

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  1. Pingback: Eczema Research Focus Month – Obesity and Asthma | Eczema Blues

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