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International Health Insurance News: Bring children up 'to have good relationship with food'

Getting You There, which provides stress management services and hypnotherapy to help people boost their mental and physical wellbeing, said there are "three basic principles" to preventing obesity in young people.

One of these is encouraging youngsters to exercise and be active, which could involve playing games and sports or taking them walking, she explained.

This can "enable them to develop a habit of activity", which can improve a person's physicality and make them more likely to maintain a good body weight, the expert asserted.

Ms Finnemore also advised parents to feed their offspring "a wide range of meals mainly based on natural, unprocessed foods".

These could include wholegrains, vegetables and fruits as well as healthy oils and "adequate lean protein", she declared, adding that this ought to be done "from as early an age as possible".

People raised in this manner are less likely to crave salty, sugary processed meals or develop faddy eating habits, the expert stated.

Children should therefore consume "a range of healthy tastes and textures", she argued.

Ms Finnemore noted when young people develop "a healthy relationship with food", they are likely to maintain this throughout adulthood.

She claimed some of her obese clients feel compelled to eat all of the food on their plates, regardless of how much they have been served, because they recall being told to do so by their parents, who said they had to "clear their plates 'or else'".

The expert argued some had also been provided with sugary products for consolation or as a reward and they "still turn to sweet foods to celebrate and commiserate".

Children should understand it is acceptable to stop eating when they are full and to have a meal when they are hungry, so must not be forbidden from certain foods or given unhealthy products solely to comfort them emotionally, Ms Finnemore asserted.

Obesity is generally due to psychological and emotional issues causing a "dysfunctional relationship with food", rather than a lack of knowledge, she recently pointed out.

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