Childhood Obesity Predictors May Not Be What You Think (Part 1)

by Robard Corporation Staff December 26, 2016


Finding the motivation to pursue a healthy weight can be difficult sometimes. But a new study out of Stanford University may be able to add an increased sense of urgency and purpose, particularly for parents: Do it for the kids!

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. While many factors have contributed to this, including increased access to fast foods and higher birth weight, more evidence shows that the factor that puts children at greatest risk of being overweight is having obese parents.

“The findings of this study suggest that at-risk children may be identifiable in the first few years of life,” says W. Stewart Agras, MD, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, whose team assessed both established and hypothesized risk factors in a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.

Agras says parental obesity represented the most potent risk factor, a finding that confirms previous observations, and the connection between overweight parents and overweight children is likely due to a combination of genetics and family environmental influences.

Childhood obesity can lead to many other health issues for children. According to the American Obesity Association, pediatricians are reporting more frequent cases of obesity-related diseases such as type-2 diabetes, asthma and hypertension — diseases that once were considered adult conditions.

It can be emotionally conflicting to think about the ways that one’s own health can negatively impact one’s children. But remember that the focus of this study and its findings is not about blame or shaming overweight parents, but rather about prevention. “It’s important to identify risk factors because they may provide a way to alter the child’s environment and reduce the chance of becoming overweight,” Agras says.

Remember: Good health is paramount for many reasons. The first reason is YOU. Obesity can prevent you from living a long, happy, and healthy life. The next reason is the people that you love. You play an integral role in building a healthy family. But while bad eating and exercise habits in children can be passed down from parents, the good news is that we have the power to change those unhealthy habits for ourselves, as well as for our children. Stay tuned for Part 2 for 5 tips for a healthier family….


Sources: American Heart Association, News Medical, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation




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Filed Under: Childhood Obesity | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Obesity | Self Esteem | Setting Goals | Treating Obesity

'Tis the 'Weight-Gaining' Season

by Robard Corporation Staff October 20, 2016


I recently saw a picture on Facebook that was captioned: “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” It’s a common saying, but thought-provoking at the same time. It puts things in perspective and helps you understand that the decisions you make now can affect you in the future.

One thing that we can all do now is decide to make a conscious effort to watch our diet and weight over the next three months; our future selves will thank us for it. Remember, from now until the end of the year we are all likely to gain weight. Why? Blame our friends, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Yes, the holiday season is upon us, and if we aren’t careful we will gain weight that will take a lot of effort and time to lose. Actually, according to findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it will take upwards of five months to lose that weight. Think of all the work you put in throughout this past year trying to reach your fitness goal, only for it to vanish in a span of a few months, then you have start again when the calendar flips to 2017.

So, what do we do? First, let’s all agree that for the majority of us there will be a few days during the holidays that our diet goes haywire. However, the goal should be to minimize those days, which is tough to do when the leftovers in the fridge are begging to be eaten; we have to find ways to control those urges and cravings.

Another thing we can do is make sure we have a consistent exercise plan. With the holiday season comes traveling, relaxation, and at times lack of motivation to workout. But even if it’s just a short walk, commit to do something! It will be easier to get back into your normal workout routine if you are starting somewhere instead of starting from a place where you went an extended period of time with little to no physical activity. Try to keep your regimen as close to normal as possible.

Cornell Food and Brand Lab Director Brian Wansink said it best: “It’s easier to avoid holiday pounds altogether than to lose them after they happen.” With research showing it will take five months to lose three months of weight, it’s hard to disagree. So stay motivated, be consistent and focused on reaching your good health goals. If we’re mindful of watching our weight over the next three months, our future selves will thank us for it.


Source: Cornell Food & Brand Lab

Blog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation


Guest Blog: 5 Tips to Stop that Weight Loss Rollercoaster

by Robard Corporation Staff August 19, 2016


Reaching your goal weight can be equated to the pause in the middle of a roller coaster. You’ve reached your weight loss goal and you’ve been on this roller coaster before. Can you keep it off and stop the roller coaster?  Here are some tips to get you on solid ground.

Develop a maintenance plan ASAP!  Create or find a structure to keep you from sliding back into your old eating habits and support you in moving forward confidently. One idea is to figure out what your daily caloric intake should be to maintain this new weight. This calculator will estimate how many calories you need based on your gender, age, weight and activity level; use it as your guide.  Or make a daily eating plan so that you have a road map and don’t go off course.  Whichever approach you choose — one of these or another of your own choosing — it will take practice to make it habit.  The good news is that it will become second nature after a while, and one way to do it is going through the S.T.A.R Plan® - Steps To Avoid Regain.

Develop a mantra (or two).  Your mindset is one of the biggest keys to your success. Choose two or three mantras and repeat them to yourself throughout the day.  You might want to try “Maintaining my weight is easier than losing weight.”  Or “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.”  “I am eating for my health” may encourage you to make healthier choices.  When tempted to have that extra piece of cake, you can also remind yourself what you like about being this current weight.

Find motivators to stay on track.  Plan a trip where you have to wear a bathing suit.  Shop for new clothes that look good and admire yourself when you wear them. (A little vanity doesn’t hurt anyone.) Find other motivators that work for you.

Stock up on healthy snacks.  Pack a piece of your favorite fruit, a handful of nuts or a tasty yogurt so you have a satisfying snack for when hunger hits, wherever you may be.  This will support you in avoiding the vending machine or the sweets in the office lunch room. Robard provides a variety of portion controlled protein snacks that can be ideal to stay away from those vending machine cravings.

Weigh Yourself Daily.  Best way to know if you are gearing up to ride that roller coaster again is to keep a close eye on your weight. If you gain a pound or two, reset your weight by going back on your diet until you return to your goal weight.

Exercise is the magic pill.  It’s not a pill, but being active does make it easier to stay on track.  You burn more calories, your metabolism gets a boost and your appetite is suppressed for a while after you exercise.  You also feel good about yourself.  It doesn’t have to be every day and it doesn’t have to be strenuous. Choose any activity you enjoy. I have a friend who exercises every other day and has for years.  She says she looks forward to it on the off days and looks forward to the off days after she exercises.  That has helped her stay motivated for the long term. Find your formula.

We all know that we need more than willpower for the long haul. Use these tips to help build a support structure for your long time weight loss success, and if you are at the beginning of your weight loss journey and would like some assistance fill out our brief Find a Clinic form and we will locate a center near you!



This Guest Blog was written by Sima Michaels Dembo, MPH (pictured, right), who is a health care consultant and writer in North Bethesda, MD. She writes on nutrition, weight loss, exercise and other health care topics.  She is the principal of SMD Consulting, a consulting firm specializing in writing on timely health care issues for lay and professional audiences.


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Filed Under: Exercise | For Dieters | For Providers | Habits | Healthy Eating | Healthy Lifestyle | Obesity | Self Esteem | Setting Goals | Treating Obesity

5 Ways to Teach Your Daughter about Healthy Weight & Body Image

by Robard Corporation Staff June 28, 2016


In the age of social media, the Internet, reality TV, and pop culture, women and girls face an enormous amount of pressure to look a certain way or be a certain weight. More now than ever, weight and body image concerns create an immense amount of anxiety for women, but increasingly more so for young girls. Girls’ dissatisfaction manifests around body image, particularly weight, at an alarmingly young age:

• Over 80 percent of 10-year-old girls are afraid of being fat.
• By middle school, 40-70 percent of girls are dissatisfied with two or more parts of their body, and body satisfaction hits rock bottom between the ages of 12 and 15.

And while it’s natural to be concerned about our daughters’ weight and to encourage them to be healthy, a recent study from Cornell Food & Brand Lab says that one of the best things you can do to encourage healthy weight and positive body image is … don’t talk about her weight!

The study published in Eating and Weight Disorders surveyed 501 women between the ages of 20 and 35 and asked them to recall how often their parent(s) commented on their weight. The findings showed that women whose parents were less likely to comment on their weight or how much food they ate were also less likely to be overweight as adults. Interestingly, women who recalled their parents commenting on their weight in their youth were generally more likely to be dissatisfied with their weight in adulthood, regardless of whether they were overweight or not.

“If you're worried about your child's weight, avoid criticizing them or restricting food. Instead, nudge healthy choices and behaviors by giving them freedom to choose for themselves and by making the healthier choices more appealing and convenient," recommends lead author Brian Wansink. "After all, it's the choices that children make for themselves that will lead to lifelong habits." 

If you are a parent and hope to encourage a healthy weight and positive body image in your daughter, there are many other ways to do so that won’t lead to unintended negative affects later in life. Take a look at the slideshow that suggest 5 positive ways to teach your daughter about healthy weight and body image.



Sources: Cornell Food & Brand Lab, NYC Girls Project


Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation


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Filed Under: For Dieters | For Providers | Healthy Lifestyle | Self Esteem

3 Tips to Erase Negative Body Image

by Robard Corporation Staff April 20, 2016


When you look in the mirror, what do you see? How do you feel? If you were given a magic wand that enabled you to change anything about your body, would your body weight, size, or shape be high on the list? If you find yourself being extra critical of your body in your reflection, you’re not alone.

In a 2014 survey of 2,000 adults conducted by TODAY/AOL about body image, 60 percent of adult women and 36 percent of men have negative thoughts about themselves weekly, with a particular preoccupation with the appearance of their stomachs (69 percent of women worrying about their tummies compared to 52 percent of men).

It’s hard to feel happy about ourselves in an increasingly social media-driven world. We are bombarded daily by the images of the super-thin, super-fit, and seemingly super-happy celebrity elite in magazines, TV, Instagram, and more. And on the flip side, there is an immense amount of disparaging stigma in society around being overweight or obese. Many scientific studies demonstrate this point, showing that people with excess weight are often perceived as being “less intelligent, lonelier, having less self-control, more lazy.”

While losing weight for many is crucial to improving their health, it’s also important to acknowledge the psychological and emotional toll that can come with being overweight, which can lead to negative body image and become harmful in our daily lives, even sabotaging healthy weight loss goals.

If you are embarking on a dieting, weight management, or exercise plan to lose weight and be healthier, remember that the journey can and should be an empowering one. Rather than being motivated by guilt or shame, replace those feelings with joy and pride for the amazing changes you are making for your health and your life.

Negative body image is not something that you can necessarily change overnight; however, with some helpful tools and habit changes, you may start to see yourself differently, even before you start shedding major pounds.
Here are three tips you can start today to start turning around negative body image:

1. Start daily affirmations. Tell yourself how awesome, beautiful, and worthy you are – even if you don’t quite believe it yet. Look yourself in the mirror, smile, and say OUT LOUD at least one thing about yourself that makes you feel proud to be you.
2. Be mindful of negative thinking. We drown ourselves in negative thinking more often than we realize. When you find yourself having negative thoughts about your body, stop and check in with yourself. Be present with the thought and remind yourself that it doesn’t have to be true. Replace the negative thought with a positive one, smile, breathe, and move on.
3. Avoid disparaging media. If you find that looking at magazines with wafer thin models make you feel bad about yourself, stop consuming them. Instead, consciously seek out media that reinforces positive self-image. Look for magazines, TV shows, or social media that speak to your interests outside of physical appearance, like travel or gardening. Or look to informational blogs or articles that emphasize the importance of wellness and health to support healthy weight loss goals.

If you need a push in the right direction, click through the slideshow below for some inspirational quotes and messages that will lift your spirits. Maybe one of them will serve as tomorrow’s daily affirmation!




Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation



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Filed Under: For Dieters | For Providers | Self Esteem

New Year Motivation

by Robard Corporation Staff December 10, 2014


Motivation is a tricky thing. When the calendar turns January 1, 2015 there will be a large number of new declarations that people have every intention of accomplishing. The New Year brings a sense of new beginnings and raises the motivation level of many people.

However, it’s easy to have motivation at the beginning of the journey, what about the middle?

You’re a month into your goal with the end seemingly miles away. Or you’re at the part where you feel as though you’re stuck and aren’t making progress.

Many dieters experience this issue throughout their weight loss journey. At the beginning, the excitement and fervor is apparent. However, as the days and months progress it gets increasingly more difficult to adhere to your diet, or the gym and exercise can wait a day, maybe two.

Getting motivation can be easy and simple. Maintaining motivation, well that can be a little trickier.

So what do you do? What’s the answer for when your motivation that you once thought was unwavering is now as sturdy as a house of cards? There are a few things. Take your mind back to when you originally established your goal, to when your motivation to reach it was at its highest. There’s a reason that this meant something to you and is something you wanted to attain, use that as fuel to continue pushing.

Understand that there wNill be roadblocks and walls as high as the eye can see during your journey. Instead of being deterred use it as an opportunity to push yourself. There aren’t many obstacles that are insurmountable and considering obstacles as challenges motivates us to rise to the occasion.

Lastly, always keep your goal in mind. A book I read, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, listed one of the habits as “begin with the end in mind.” Envision yourself at the finish line, the gratification you feel when you had a goal and you saw it through. Reaching goals motivates us to reach the next one!

Share what you do to maintain your motivation.

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Filed Under: For Dieters | Self Esteem | Setting Goals

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