Read this book to help shed
Oct 4 (IANS) Reading the right type of novel may be an enjoyable
way to reduce weight, according to a recent study.
University researchers asked obese female children aged nine
to 13, already in a comprehensive weight loss programme to
read an age-appropriate novel called "Lake Rescue",
published by Beacon Street Press.
was carefully crafted with the help of paediatric experts
to include specific healthy lifestyle and weight management
guidance, as well as positive messages and strong role models.
months later, Duke researchers found that 31 girls who read
"Lake Rescue" experienced a significant decrease
in their body mass index (BMI) scores (minus 0.71 percent)
when compared to a control group of 14 girls who hadn't (+.05
percent), informed Alexandra C. Russell, a fourth-year medical
student at Duke who led the study and presented the findings
at the Obesity Society's annual scientific meeting.
a paediatrician, I can't count the number of times I tell
parents to buy a book that might provide useful advice, yet
I've never been able to point to research to back up my recommendations,"
said Sarah Armstrong, director of Duke's Healthy Lifestyles
Programme where the research took place.
is the first prospective interventional study that found literature
can have a positive impact on healthy lifestyle changes in
young girls," she said.
is becoming more prevalent in children, according to the Centres
for Disease Control, which reports that 16 percent of children
aged six to 19 are overweight or obese, a number that has
tripled since 1980, according to a Duke University press release.
are looking at a variety of ways to help kids stay healthy,
lose weight and be more active, but Armstrong says, "most
don't work very well. The weight loss options that are effective
typically involve taking powerful medications with side-effects,
or require permanent surgical procedures."
the BMI decrease attributed to the book is small, Armstrong
says any decrease in BMI is encouraging because BMI typically
increases in children as they grow and develop.
idea that a book can positively influence weight loss and
decrease BMI is "encouraging because it's fairly easy
to implement", Sarah added. "And it's a welcome
addition to a world where there aren't a lot of alternatives."