Ending the Food Fight: Guide Your Child to a Healthy Weight in a Fast Food/Fake Food World

Ending the Food Fight: Guide Your Child to a Healthy Weight in a Fast Food/Fake Food World


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In a world dominated by fast food and fake food, establishing healthy eating habits in children is one of the greatest concerns for parents—and potentially one of the greatest challenges. Fortunately, the renowned physician Dr. David Ludwig developed a proven lifestyle plan that has benefited thousands of families. Here he shares his nine-week program, offering the tools—including tasty recipes, motivational tips, and activities—that can help families prevent the kitchen table from becoming a battleground.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547053684
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 08/10/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 591,349
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.88(d)

About the Author

Dr. David Ludwig is a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and the founder of the OWL program at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Ludwig’s research, including reports on the relationship between childhood obesity and the consumption of fast food and soda, is regularly covered in the national media.

Read an Excerpt

INTRODUCTION During my pediatrics residency training in the early 1990s, I helped care for Grace, a three-year-old girl who was admitted to the hospital with failure to thrive. This condition — usually caused by a chronic medical problem, improper nutrition, or neglect — results in poor weight gain and stunted growth. However, Grace’s condition was unusual: she had gained no weight at all in nine months, but her growth had continued at an entirely normal rate. In addition, her appearance was striking, especially compared to photos taken of her in infancy. Over the previous year, all of her normal baby fat had melted away, yet her muscles were remarkably preserved, making her look like a tiny bodybuilder.
After a few days of fruitless investigation, we finally discovered that Grace had a rare abnormality in a region of the brain called the hypothalamus, which controls body weight. Somehow her brain was sending her body the message to shed every single ounce of fat. But since she was otherwise healthy, the growth of other body tissues continued uninterrupted. Unfortunately, the surgery needed to treat Grace’s condition produced damage to the part of the brain that controls satiety, the sensation of fullness we get after eating. Almost immediately after recovering from surgery, Grace developed a ravenous appetite and a significant problem with overeating. Through the next few years, Grace gained a great deal of weight, going from being substantially underweight to seriously overweight. Grace’s mother, with support from our medical team, struggled to control her daughter’s hunger and slow down her weight gain.
By the end of my pediatrics training, the obesity epidemic in the United States was in full swing. Influenced in part by my experience with Grace, I decided to pursue a career in obesity and joined a basic research laboratory studying the biological factors that affect body weight. I became fascinated by the beauty and complexity of the body’s weight-regulating systems. Under most circumstances, these systems help maintain a near- perfect balance between calorie intake and calorie expenditure. Without these systems, our weight would fluctuate wildly, as did Grace’s. Just the calories in an extra bagel and cream cheese each day could cause a thirty- five-pound weight gain in one year.
During my five years in basic research, I helped discover a gene that can make laboratory mice fat and might contribute to human obesity. However, I came to believe that the discovery of new genes was unlikely to provide a cure for obesity anytime soon. After all, our genes haven’t changed much in the past thirty years, but rates of obesity have more than doubled. So in 1996, I left the basic laboratory, began researching new dietary approaches to obesity in people, and developed the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program at Children’s Hospital Boston. Since then, OWL has grown from a staff of two to one of the largest clinics for overweight children and their families in the country.
When people find out what kind of work I do, they often say something like, “You treat overweight children? That must be so sad.” Sometimes I do feel sad. Overweight people, and especially children, are subject to incessant teasing, abuse, and discrimination. The stories of our patients can at times be heartbreaking. And sometimes I feel angry. Soft drink companies spend millions of dollars on advertising targeting children, but OWL has to fight with insurance companies for only a few hundred dollars to cover the treatment of an obese child. More often I feel joy. In addition to the small, day-to-day victories that you’ll read about throughout this book, there are great triumphs. For instance, in chapter 2 you’ll meet Michael, who came to OWL at age fourteen. At that time, he was 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 220 pounds; he had high cholesterol, high triglycerides, fatty liver, and insulin resistance. Now nineteen years old and 5 feet 10 inches tall, Michael has reached an optimal weight of 155 pounds, and all of his obesity- related complications have resolved.
If you are the parent of an overweight child, or if you want to prevent a problem from developing in the future, this book is for you. In the following pages, I’ll share with you what we’ve learned from fifteen years of research and from working with thousands of families just like yours. I’ll introduce you to OWL patients who have made dramatic breakthroughs and others who are still struggling. And I’ll walk with you, step by step, as you and your family take this journey to health.
Copyright © 2007 by David Ludwig. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.

Table of Contents

Note to Reader ix Acknowledgments xi Introduction 1

I. A View from the Battlefront 1. Overweight and Overpowered 7 2. Welcoming Children to Weight Loss: A Day at the OWL Clinic 20

II. Making Peace Within Us 3. Eating to Feel Full 43 4. Getting Physical 74 5. It’s the Thought That Counts 99

III. Making Peace in Our Families 6. There’s No Place Like Home 123 7. The 9-Week Program 149

IV. Making Peace Around Us 8. Changing the World 185

V. Increase the Peace 9. Recipes 205

VI. Reinforcements Diaries for the 9-Week Program 299 Shopping List 307 Recommended Reading 317 Notes 319 Index 330

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Ending the Food Fight: Guide Your Child to a Healthy Weight in a Fast Food/ Fake Food World 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, Ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times Best-Selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, Motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach, and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families. This book/product has earned this distinguished award.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ending the Food Fight is a gift to the children and families of this world! Finally, parents have a guide to fence off the factory-fake-packaged-food-industry. Dr. Ludwig provides a beacon of hope and compassion for children and families struggling with food issues. Each child is guided into a well-researched reasonable program setting an example for life. Run to the bookstore, or the web. Ending the Food Fight will change your life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hi, I Michelle Cullen I am the older girl in the picture it was a great time I loved it and the results turned out fantastic, amazing and great.