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Diet & Health : Body Weight Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Gaining weight? Read a healthy lifestyle book!
By Sue Mueller
Oct 5, 2008 - 6:24:01 PM

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Sunday October 5, 2008 ( -- Worried about your kids gaining excess weight? Ask them to read a book about healthy lifestyle! A new study found children who were asked to read a healthy lifestyle book did lose some weight although not as much as desired.

For the study, researchers at Duke University asked obese females ages 9 to 13 who participated in a weight loss program to read a novel called Lake Rescue to see what would happen to their body mass index.

The book was full of messages from pediatric experts on specific healthy lifestyle, weight management, positive and strong role models.

Six month later, the researchers found the 31 reading girls experienced a significant decrease in their BMI by 0.71% compared to an increase of 0.05% in their peers who did not read the book.

Overweight and obesity are more prevalent now than ever. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 16 percent of children ages 6 to 19 are overweight or obese.

Sarah Armstrong, MD, director of Duke's Healthy Lifestyles Program where the study was conducted said although the effect was not as much as thought, it should be considered encouraging because children tend to enlarge their waistline as they grow up.

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