Poll: Have Your Children Lost Weight Along With You?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
When you decide to start making healthy changes in your life, you probably start at home.  Common changes include getting junk food out of the house or replacing an evening T.V. show with an evening walk.  You might be the only one in the house who’s formally committed to the change, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else doesn’t benefit from it.  If you cook the meals, maybe you start making healthier dishes instead of opting for fast food a few nights a week.  And it’s easy to ask for company on your nightly walk, so soon it becomes a family event. 
In many households, it’s not just one family member who has weight issues.  Years of unhealthy habits can create weight problems for everyone, young and old.  If you’ve got a child in your house who has weight issues, it’s likely very stressful to try and figure out how to help.  How do you make eating healthy and exercising fun, to create habits that they can carry on for the rest of their lives?  According to a new study, the best strategy could be leading by example. 
The study, published in the journal Obesity, evaluated three different strategies used by parents to help their overweight or obese children lose weight.  “Researchers from UC San Diego and the University of Minnesota looked at eighty parent-child groups with an 8 to 12-year-old overweight or obese child. They participated in a parent-only or parent and child treatment program for five months.” In the first treatment group, parents were a role model by losing weight themselves.  The second group made changes to the home environment, and the third used active parenting techniques like limiting a child’s food intake.  The strategy that was most successful was when parents lost weight, because their children naturally started to slim down themselves. 
Although we hear it all the time, parents really are the biggest influences on their young children’s lives.  Kids are very perceptive and they see when mom is starting to snack on carrot sticks instead of candy bars, or dad has dusted off the weight machine in the basement to use a few nights a week.  Whether it’s intentional or not, adopting healthy habits for yourself can easily trickle down to the rest of the family.  Even if you don’t have weight to lose, you can still lead by example. 
What do you think?  How has your weight loss journey affected your children or others in your household?

Have your children lost weight along with you?

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Following High School, I put on a fair bit of weight (bad diet, too little exercise).

My father (now retired) was still in the US Navy, and was overweight. He made the decision to start hitting the gym to work out several times a week, as well as changing his diet.

His diet was my diet, since I ate at home. When he went to the gym, he took me along with him.

He lost 30 pounds over 4 months. I lost 42 pounds in the same period (I could work out harder than he at the time... ah, the joys of youth!).

Otherwise, I do not have children. Report
I am an obese dad to an obese child. We both are taking diet supplement which is safe to both of us. The product is called Roca Labs Formula and this supplement is 100% fiber so we basically lose weight safely and naturally. Report
My eldest girl has lost some weight and she feels so happy because she can fit into her jeans(mind you, they are not skinny jeans, just a normal cut). Report
My problem is that I only have about 20 pounds to lose. My toddler has always been on the tall (90%) and skinny (35%) side of the charts. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out how to reduce my calorie intake while keeping her intake higher! Report
We just have less junk around the house most of the time since I started tracking my food. I still let my kids have occassional treats, but we get small packages instead of large ones. Report
Our daughter is very healthy and fit, she is our motivator for losing weight. Must be difficult for her to have 2 obese parents but we're working it...this is the 1st time we've joined forces as it were. Report
Unfortunately, no. She follows her mothers lead. Report
I am the only one with a serious weight issue. my hubby has gained weight since we've been married, but not that much. maybe 10 or 15 pounds. one child is right in the middle for height and weight. shes just barely skin and bones. the other one is higher for height and weight but is soooo skinny! lol. the other one is little tall for her height and high on the weight for height. but shes muscular. she isn't chubby although she sort of looks it a lil bit. but shes really muscular and very strong. and ALL are active ALL DAY LONG, lol.

so basically its just me that needs to be on teh weight loss journey, lol. Report
My 7yo has been 50th percentile for weight ever since he started walking. He usually is right on the recommended BMI line. My 2yo is just 25th percentile for weight and 80th percentile for height. So I have to feed him a bit more calorie dense food. Both of them are very active. Report
Nice articles Report
When I did weight watchers, my daughter and husband did it with me. We all lost a considerable amount of weight, unfortunately we all found it again. Now, I'm the only one who is actively trying to lose weight. You can't force the issue on other people and they have get "there" when they are ready.

My dog has lost a considerable amount of weight in the past five years. She had a liter of 11 puppies and never lost the baby weight. Lol. She is now a much slimmer, healthier dog. Report
My son is 16 and has never, ever been over weight at all. He's not unhealthy skinny, but he's never had even a little bit of fat or chub. I wish I could say that about me! Report
I have two son's, one very fit and the other very overweight. They were both athletic but one ate very poorly and so did I. By the time I changed my eating habits the oldest and most fit was already out of the house and the youngest was still with me. Because I bought the food and cooked most of the meals (he is a good cook in his own right) he lost weight as well. I did not have the budget to buy different things for us to eat so he had to eat what I ate. No more chips, ice cream, cookies and soda in our house. These things did not disappear over night, I changed my habits slowly and had not paid attention to the fact that I changed his habits slowly as well. Funny, Now that he is working he still does not buy a lot of those things and neither one of us buy enough junk food to store in the house. My son is of normal weight now. Ironically, when he was overweight he was sensitive and would not like to talk about it but now that he has lost a tremendous amount of weight he talks about it a lot. He is concerned about not gaining the wieght back and discusses nutrition and food labels with me and even jokes about the way that we used to eat. Report
My son just gained a lot of weight over the last year. He's very sensitive about it and if I try to bring it up...even though I assure him that I'm not criticizing, that I love him and I'm only concerned for his health...he gets very defensive. I think he has noticed some changes in my eating and exercising...and maybe he's even noticed my weight loss. He'll go for walks with me now and he'll swap unhealthy snacks for my healthier picks every now and again. I'm hoping that these small steps in his life will turn into lifelong changes!
It's funny, because as poorly as I've abused my body with junk food, I've always made sure that my children were fed a constantly healthy diet. One time I even went in search of how many calories children their age should be eating, just to make sure they weren't being under or over fed. I found that after turning my eating habits around, I was eating more like them. I know as they grew older they would have wandered down my path of unhealthy eating, so I'm glad to get things straightened out while they're still pretty young. Report
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