When you have loved ones in your life who are overweight, you are concerned and want to do all you can to improve the situation. Often, it’s hard to know exactly what to do. A new study offers helpful insight.
3 Ways to Help Loved Ones Who Are Overweight
A member of my Faithful Finish Lines online fitness group shared this helpful article from Information about Diabetes with me. A study from Cornell University showed that there are 3 ways to make people of all ages more likely to choose nutritious foods. Make these foods:
- Easy to see and get to (Convenient)
- Nice looking (Attractive)
- An obvious choice (Normal)
For example, put ripe, fresh fruit that has been washed in a pretty bowl in the middle of the kitchen table when kids get home from school. It’s at the table and prepared (convenient), in a pretty bowl (attractive), and what the whole family is eating (normal).
You have a tremendous positive influence over other people in your family and life. When you prepare fresh, healthy foods for those you love, this becomes part of their normal. Don’t underestimate your impact.
While the study didn’t go this far, I believe this is true for exercise as well. When exercise is incorporated into regular family life, and gear is in place and ready to go, it’s seen as convenient and normal. Kids who grow up with physical activity as part of their world are adults who are physically active, too.** Adults can make fitness part of their everyday life, too, even if it wasn’t part of their life before. I’ve made these changes, so I know it’s possible!
The opposite is also true. By storing junk foods out of sight, these foods are consumed less often. We just finished the busy Christmas season that is full of tempting junk foods. I’ve discovered for the last few years that when I tuck away Christmas cookies and candy in a far away dining room cabinet or our downstairs storage closet, I eat much less.
In what ways can you incorporate these 3 ideas with your family?
**One final, important note: If you are a parent, and the person who is overweight is your child, this is a different situation than if your loved one is another adult. I am not a doctor and am not offering medical advice. Always seek the advice of your health professional.
As the parent, it is your responsibility to care for the health of your child. If your child is overweight, this is a problem you need to work toward correcting. You bring the food into the house. You control your child’s schedule. I know this is tough, but NOW is the time. Stop making excuses. Get an appointment with your child’s doctor and set up a plan to work together as a team to head in the right direction to bring your child to a healthier place.
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