WeightSavvy Teens And Kids

Anyone working in the field of childhood obesity has probably long noticed that effectively addressing excess weight in kids usually means involving the whole family. In fact some programs go as far as to only involve the parents rather than focus on the kids themselves.

Unfortunately, access to weight management programs for families remains extremely limited. Most families are left to fend on their own or wait in line for appointments with health professionals.

A book called “Changing the Face of Obesity – one family at a time”, by Ottawa’s Michelle Renard Good, hopes to address this gap by helping inspire kids and teens to choose a healthier way of life.

From the introduction to the book, Good explains that despite being very active, she too struggled to maintain her weight – not withstanding her mother’s attempts to get her to diet. Now, as a nutritionist, personal trainer, homeopathic doctor and mother of four daughters, she has invested substantial time into gathering an almost encyclopedic amount of information that she has brought together in what she calls the WeightSavvy Teens and Kids weight management program.

The result is a densely written, over 300 page long, book that is both part textbook and part workbook, providing an almost overwhelmingly vast range of background information and self-assessment tools to explore topics ranging from fitness and eating behaviour to communicating emotions and improving self esteem.

The program moves well beyond the usual “eat less and move more” approach to weight loss and instead focuses on the other possible factors contributing to weight gain. I really enjoyed the progression and flow of the book. By dividing concepts into building blocks of achievable ‘steps’, readers are presented with a systematic approach to achieving a healthy weight through goal setting, behaviour modification and education.

I particularly enjoyed the sections on how to:

* Cope with stress
* Manage boredom
* Identify hidden fats in foods
* Eat healthy in restaurants

Good’s writing style is engaging and her use of Weekly Narratives, in which she describes scenarios that kids may readily relate to, provides much room for discussion and engagement.

More information on the book and the program can be found on Good’s website.

If any of my readers have experience with this program, I’d love to hear from you.

Edmonton, Alberta

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