Yourwellness Magazine Follows Up Indiana Childhood Obesity Programme Selection

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With Indiana being selected to participate in YMCA’s childhood obesity programme, Yourwellness Magazine explored how parental encouragement to "eat up" could cause children to develop weight problems.

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The State Alliance of Indiana YMCAs has been selected to participate in the YMCA's Statewide Pioneering Healthier Communities (PHC), it was announced July 11th. Through policy, systems and environmental change, this initiative is geared toward combating the childhood obesity epidemic. According to Marty Pastura, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne and chair of the Indiana committee, the goal is to change the habits and environmental factors through legislation and programming to help young people develop healthy habits that will keep them from obesity. The state of Indiana is one of 14 to receive funds from the YMCA USA. (

With this in mind, Yourwellness Magazine investigated whether encouraging children to eat could make them get fat. According to Yourwellness Magazine, "It’s not uncommon to hear parents urging their children to ‘eat up’ and to ‘clear their plates’, but new evidence has surfaced that shows that this well-meaning action could actually be damaging to children’s wellness. Parental attitudes to food have been shown to have a direct effect on children’s weight." (

Yourwellness Magazine commented that children who had certain types of food restricted whilst they were growing up were more likely to be overweight or even obese and that parents who put pressure on their children to ‘eat up’ also caused their children problems in later life. Yourwellness Magazine explained this is because children have a natural ability to sense when they are full, and a ‘shut off’ mechanism in their stomach triggers cues in their brain that tell them to stop eating. Yourwellness Magazine noted that, if children then continue to eat, under parental pressure, they will over-ride this mechanism, and gradually lose the ability to tell when they are full, causing them to overeat in later life.

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