Let's Eat Right! For Kids.
Karen I, Brolly Books, Malvern, 2004, 136 pages, $19.95, ISBN 1-877035-39-4
If you had to pick some of the hottest nutrition topics in the popular press at the moment, childhood obesity would be one of them. With the rising prevalence of overweight and obesity in Australian and New Zealand families, there is a captive audience eager for information and practical advice for tackling issues associated with our overweight kids. Karen Inge has produced a colourful, gorgeously illustrated, easy-to-read book, designed to provide practical advice and evidence-based information for families, with a focus on preventing or reducing obesity in kids. This book uses 'family friendly' language (e.g. 'Living in Fat City' and 'Eat your Rainbows') and provides clear concise information in such a non-judgemental way that the empathy and warmth towards busy parents can be felt as you read through the book. It cleverly extends the usual dietary advice to include methods for achieving behaviour change, such as monitoring behaviour by keeping records or setting up competitions among family members, planning ahead by using whiteboards/timetables and imparting ownership on family members by including them in decisions about food and activity choices for the week. The book is full of practical tips on organising an active family, strategies for successfully changing sedentary behaviours and recipes for family meals. It carefully addresses both the physical and mental aspects of being an overweight child (and a parent of an overweight child).
A number of issues identified as key risk factors for childhood obesity in research settings are addressed in the context of family life, including soft drink intake, television watching, reliance on food away from home, influence of parent behaviour and an increase in non-active play time. Real barriers to changing these aspects of our lives are addressed.
The information and tip boxes are complemented well with a scattering of numbers including ready reckoners for 'at risk' nutrients, high- and low-glycaemic index tables, meal plans and height and weight growth charts. Karen has included a number of recent statistics from both Australia (national and state by state data) and New Zealand, which although lends the book to become outdated quickly, has the advantage of allowing the intended audience to relate well to the information.
This book would be well suited for any busy family (whether it includes overweight kids or not) and could be recommended by dietitians and general practitioners as a practical guide to complement their professional advice. It is also a recommended read for dietitians wanting to refresh their ideas for family friendly strategies to improve diet and activity levels in a busy world. The challenge for this book will be to access those families who are most at need of but who may be least likely to seek this kind of helpful advice.
Let's Eat Right! For Kids tackles a serious problem in a relaxed and positive manner. It is a lovely mix of nutrition information for growing families and practical tips for weight management in the 'portion distortion' world we live in.
NHMRC Australian Clinical Research Fellow
University of Queensland, Centre for Diabetes and Endocrine Research
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|Title Annotation:||by Ingrid Hickman|
|Publication:||Nutrition & Dietetics: The Journal of the Dietitians Association of Australia|
|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2005|
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