Books are good for body as well as brain

Filed under: Tweens, Teens, Nutrition: Health, Media, That's Entertainment

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A girl reading a bookIt's important for kids to read in order to become well-rounded, knowledgeable adults and positive members of society. It turns out there's another benefit to reading -- it can lead to weight loss. Scientists at Duke Children's Hospital in North Carolina have found that overweight girls who were given a book that featured an overweight girl reduced their body mass index by one percent in just six months.

The book the girls read, Lake Rescue, promotes a healthy lifestyle, including exercise. A control group that was not given the book actually increased their BMI by half a percent. Even though the loss was small, it represents a significant impact because the expected outcome, sans book, would be for the girls to increase their BMI, as, in fact, the girls in the control group did.

"The idea that a book can positively influence weight loss and decrease BMI is encouraging because it's fairly easy to implement," says Dr. Sarah Armstrong, who specializes in Nutritional Disorders and Obesity at Duke. "And it's a welcome addition to a world where there aren't a lot of alternatives." Whether a healthier lifestyle is a good reason to read or reading is a good way to live a healthier life, I say it's a win-win situation.


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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.