The Danes Get It

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Here is a cool article from the BBC.   They describe a “pilot project” which has made some headways against childhood obesity.  They treated 1,900 patients in one town and helped 70% of them to maintain normal weight for four years!  How did they do this?  A drug?  No.  A fad diet?  No.  They did it by adjusting about 20 elements of their lifestyles, which could include:

  1. No crunchy muesli or fruit yogurts for breakfast – choosing oatmeal, dark brown bread, meat and fish instead
  2.  No fast food or white bread for lunch; choose brown bread, meat, fish and vegetables instead
  3. Portions served up in the kitchen – no pots and pans at the dining table
  4. Plate proportions for dinner should be: half vegetables, a quarter brown rice, pasta or potatoes, and a quarter low fat fish or meat
  5. Wait 20 minutes before having second helpings – this allows time for the body to feel full
  6. Only two pieces of fruit per day
  7. Fast food only once a month
  8. Sweets only once a week
  9. Snack only once a week
  10. Limit juice, iced tea, cocoa, soda or lemonade to once weekly – only half a liter in total
  11. Cycle or walk to school
  12. Organized physical activity eg dancing, handball or gymnastics
  13. Free physical activities like walking/biking after school, walking the dog or trampolining
  14. Screen time (television, computer or tablet) limited to two hours per day
  15. No television/computer access until 5pm
  16. Set a regular, early bedtime

Turns out they are right on the money.   Look how much the carbs have been cut.  Look at the increase in physical activity.   See how much technology has been decreased.  Observe how they make sleep a priority. Notice that they allow a cheat day once a week. This is the recipe for success to end childhood obesity.  And it isn’t expensive or that hard for people to learn.  Making parents and their kids want to do it, however, is a whole other story.  Getting them to be tough enough and disciplined not to give in to old habits is even harder, especially when dad is obese and eating chips and fries all day. And that is where we fail in this country.

61010cookie-checkThe Danes Get It