What Is This BMI?

Elephants love Kit-Kats

What exactly is this BMI we hear so much about? A definition proffered by MedifastArizona.com goes like this: Obesity is defined as an excessive amount of body fat in relation to lean body mass. This is generally calculated by physicians as body mass index (BMI), a formula that takes into account height. This is calculated […]

The Motivation Puzzle

Burdened by Shame

Last time, Childhood Obesity News considered why kids might lack motivation to take part in a free program that could help them achieve healthy weight; or why, once enrolled in such a program, they might drag their feet and hold back from full participation. Similarly, last month we sighted a headline that read, “Obesity program offers free […]

Kids and Motivation

Not Motivated

Here is a peek into the process of setting up the trials of Dr. Pretlow’s smartphone app, as he describes it: Recruiting and engaging youth for our two W8Loss2Go app pilot studies has been extremely challenging. We offered $50 per month compensation, as well as free use of an iPhone 4S for the 4-month duration […]

What’s Up with Motivation?

Shame for Mihaha

The question of motivation, or lack of it, is endlessly provocative. A while back there was a media kerfuffle when a man thought he could motivate a Wisconsin TV news reader to lose weight by offering his critique of her ample figure. It bothered him even more that Jennifer Livingston had been overweight for many years […]

Fat Shame as Motivation

The Rest of Your Life

In the latest trial of Dr. Pretlow’s W8Loss2Go smartphone app, the buddy feature turned out not to be one of the most popular tools. Perhaps its true potential was not fully explored by the participants, who had many other things on their minds. The news story we look at today concerns adults, not children. The subject […]

Some Theories of Motivation

Pull Your Own Weight

A child is obese who can’t lift herself or himself off the ground, even with a jumping assist. So says coach and physical educator Rick Osbourne, who proposes a straightforward strategy that is said to motivate kids to “naturally immunize themselves against obesity for life.” Every school and community center needs relatively cheap equipment — pull-up […]

Mysterious Motivation

Bad Attitude (clown)

Research projects like the Millennium Cohort Study have found that for obese children, both emotional and behavioral problems start early. Especially for boys, life is an endless round of physical and psychological discomforts. Quality of life is affected in numerous ways, from the difficulty of finding big enough clothes, to school desks that are too small, […]

Halloween’s Inexorable Approach

Christopher's Halloween Candy 2

Halloween kicks off eating season, the first of a series of occasions where food is the signifier of love, togetherness, hospitality, generosity, and regret. Anyone who gains from 7 to 10 pounds over the winter holiday season is normal, and a dismaying number of people never manage to shed those pounds before the next seasonal […]

Halloween Preparedness Starts Now

Day 148

What? We’re talking about Halloween and it’s only October 1st? Exactly! The manufacturers and retailers are ready, no doubt about that, with those industrial-size packages of candy already on display. Parents need to be ready too. Here is an interesting research topic for an ambitious student: How many grownups stock up early on trick-or-treat candy, […]

Far-Flung Globesity


Earlier this year, the United Kingdom’s Overseas Development Institute determined that “The number of overweight and obese adults in the developing world has almost quadrupled to around one billion since 1980.” According to the Future Diets report, obesity in both China and Mexico almost doubled during that time, with South Africa and the Middle East […]

Childhood Obesity News | OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say | Dr. Robert A. Pretlow
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