Facts with Hope
FACT: Researchers at Northwestern University found that older women who are obese are more likely to experience memory problems, especially if their excess weight is located around their hips. The study showed that for every one-point increase in a woman's BMI, her memory score dropped by a point on a 100-point memory test called the Modified Mini-Mental Status Examination.
HOPE: Losing weight may be more than just good for your heart. According to another study at Kent State University, weight loss may improve concentration and overall cognitive ability. As the body becomes healthier, and risk factors such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea are improved, the brain becomes healthier also. Another reason to fight the epidemic of obesity: to maximize brain power!
FACT: Childhood obesity can reduce a child’s life expectancy by 8-20 years.
HOPE: You can know how your child is doing by looking at their BMI percentile. The criteria are different from those used to interpret BMI for adults, because the amount of body fat differs between girls and boys and changes with age. If your child’s school has not done so, you can calculate their BMI percentile and learn more at
FACT: According to the CDC, 20.6 percent of adults and 19.5 percent of high school students still smoke. Tobacco use is still the nation’s number one cause of preventable death, killing more than 400,000 people and costing $193 billion in health care bills and lost productivity each year. Furthermore, the growing popularity of smokeless tobacco products, especially among teen boys, is concerning.
HOPE: All of these deaths and costs are entirely preventable. Tobacco control has been identified as one of the “ten great public health achievements” of the first decade of the 21st century, so we know what works to win the fight against tobacco! The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and leaders from many religious denominations (including Seventh-day Adventists) have launched Faith United Against Tobacco to reduce tobacco use, protect our children and decrease the terrible toll of tobacco.
Visit www.tobaccofreekids.org to learn how you can help.
FACT: A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine suggests that children who engage in active video games expend significantly more calories than those who play passive video games, reducing their risk of obesity. Researchers compared the calorie expenditure of children ages 6 to 12 during seated gaming and two active gaming formats. Compared to children at rest, children participating in a running game expended more than five times as many calories per minute, and those playing a bowling game expended nearly twice as many calories per minute. Children participating in seated gaming burned only 39 percent more calories than children at rest. The researchers also found that children’s heart rates were much higher during active gaming than during seated play.
HOPE: With over 600 muscles, our bodies were designed to move. While nothing beats outdoor physical activity, choosing active video games are a better option for the health of your child than sedentary games—and might even encourage them to engage in regular physical activity outdoors.