Dear Grandkid, Do Your Success Research

New Year's resolution for 2013 better diet

Let’s see, we already talked about fat cells, and, by the way, the picture on this page is of two giant fat cells. Just kidding! Childhood Obesity News has issues, and likes to take advantage of every chance to diss McDonald’s. And, seriously, if you do think you’re a bit on the chubby side, Mickey D’s is a good place to make yourself scarce from.

Aside from that, don’t just flounder around scratching your head and wondering about what to do about the situation. “What could I do instead?,” I hear you inquire. (Grandmas have very good hearing, even from miles away.) And I’m glad you asked, because… Do I have a link for you! It takes you to pages and pages of success stories sent in by other people your age or close to it, collected by Dr. Pretlow.

Other parts of Weigh2Rock are amazing too, but maybe the Success Stories are just the thing you need to get wired and inspired. Of course, there are also other success hints to be found around the Interwebs, and plenty of interesting things to think about too. One problem, especially for younger kids, is that they don’t have the autonomy, the control over their lives that is needed for real change.

We talked before about how some parents set bad examples and act as enablers of childhood obesity, surrounding their kids with junk food, which makes about as much sense as keeping vials of heroin around the house. Even the most conscientious, loving parents, who prepare a home-cooked dinner every night, might insist on making high-calorie food, and there isn’t much that kids can do about that.

Then, there are things that it’s even harder to do something about, like day and night. Caitlin Bronson explains a newly discovered childhood obesity villain, Daylight Savings Time:

According to British research, putting clocks back an hour in the winter discourages children from going outside to play. The study found that children are more influenced by daylight than the weather when making their decision to play outside […] the BBC reported. By retaining an extra hour of daylight, kids would be more likely to engage in physical activity during the winter, a season already notorious for weight gain.

Luckily, this is something that any kid who is old enough to think actually can do something about. If the environment allows it, if it’s safe, you might consider still going outside to something active, even if it is dark. Or you might consider doing a calorie-burning activity indoors. Some kids are lucky enough to have exercise equipment in the basement. Others might need to use more imagination, but there are ways to stay fit indoors without any special equipment, and even without making noise that drives the grownups crazy.

Take a look at the quiet workout suggested by a lady named Sara. If noise is not such a huge issue, Google “indoor workout” for lots of ideas.

Just don’t be doing that elbow exercise. You know the one — the workout that your elbow gets, moving chips from the bag into your mouth. Skip that one.

And if you have any questions, bring them on. I know a doctor I can ask!

Source: “Childhood Obesity Linked to Daylight Savings Time,”, 11/11/11
Image by Keoni Cabral.

2 Responses

  1. What interesting research about Daylight Savings Time. I know I packed on a lot of weight during middle school between general depression, getting on the bus when it was dark, and selling “fundraiser” chocolate bars for the school.

    (Side note: giving kids big boxes of 20 oz chocolate bars – 24 at a time! – to sell to “raise money for school” is totally insane. I can’t believe it was allowed. It was like the drug dealer saying to the addict, “No biggie, just hold it. I know you want some, but, just hold onto it for me.”) I ate so much it gave me heart spasms from the caffeine! I guess parents picked up the tab – all of consumption came out of my babysitting funds – what a scam!).

    Now, as an adult I’ve rediscovered biking. I just wish more people, particularly parents with kids, would insist on additional lights and reflective materials on bikes to encourage year-round biking.

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About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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