Even if you didn’t dabble with diets in high school or college, chances are pretty high that adulthood (and parenthood) may have left your search engine history riddled with fad diets and workout plans.
While some follow a strict diet for cosmetic reasons, many are forced to adhere to a healthier diet plan in order to improve their quality of life. But adults are not the only group of people affected by weight concerns.
About 12.5 million children 2 to 19 are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This extra weight can lead to serious health problems, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and psychosocial issues such as peer discrimination or poor self-esteem.
“Parents are in a really tough position,” Dr. Elissa Jelalian, a staff psychologist at the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center who focuses on the development of intervention programs for children, tells CNN.
“They feel they are not doing a good job as parents if their child is struggling with weight. … Parents see the potential health consequences, but kids aren’t in tune with that.”
For Heidi Bond and her daughter, Breanna Bond, Dr. Jelalian’s words could not ring any more true. Weighing at 186 lbs at the young age of 9 years old, Breanna Bond struggled with losing weight. The kids at school nicknamed her “fatty” and “chubby-o,” and despite her mother’s best efforts to help Breanna lose weight, nothing seemed to work.
That’s when Bond decided to adopt a new approach. She realized that in order to get Breanna to exercise regularly, they would had to make it a family activity.
The Bonds started walking four miles, four days a week, on a trail near their home in Clovis, California. With an overall healthier lifestyle including nutritious food choices and exercise, Breanna Bond succeeded in losing 65 lbs in just under a year.
(Breanna weighed 186 lbs at her heaviest, now she’s down to 121 lbs.)
Breanna has told all her friends about her weight loss plan, and they’ve been amazed by the results. One even joined her workouts over the summer and lost 20 pounds.
“I was inspiring,” Breanna says, sounding slightly in awe. Kids at school have stopped teasing her, and her self-confidence has soared.
“It’s changed her whole life,” Bond says. “She’s able to be a kid for the first time.”
For more details on Breanna’s story, check out the original article on CNN.com.