Understanding the Mandometer Weight Loss Device for Kids

Filed under: Big Kids, Tweens, Teens, Nutrition: Health, Development/Milestones: Babies, Mealtime

As childhood obesity and the associated diseases -- such as type-2 diabetes and heart disease -- continue to destroy the health of our kids, various professionals continue to create different programs and initiatives to mitigate the problems. A new device called the Mandometer has been designed to help kids monitor their eating behaviours.

This can be viewed as a step in the right direction, as long as the device is used as an educational tool to lead kids and parents on the path to sensible eating. It is not practical to take a device with you everywhere you go and whenever you need to eat. We need to ensure our kids do not form a dependency on the device and empower them to develop their own sensible eating habits. At the end of the day, kids and parents need to be accountable to each other (as opposed to a machine) to make a real lifestyle change.

The Mandometer Improves Kids Eating Behaviours

Researchers at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and the University of Bristol conducted a study to measure the effectiveness of the Mandometer. It is a portable computerized weighing scale designed to help kids eat at a slower rate and decrease their portion sizes. The machine assumes that slower eating and portion control lead to slimmer waist lines and improved health.

After a year of using the Mandometer, the 9-17 year old kids had a lower body mass index and lower percent body fat compared to the standard group. All 106 kids were encouraged to exercise 60 minutes a day. After another follow-up six months later, the healthier weights were maintained. The study revealed that kids can establish and maintain a more favourable body composition with a little bit of effort and some constant feedback and guidance.

Parents Use a Combined Approach

Parents need to recognize the importance of an all-round approach to getting our kids fit and healthy. Sixty minutes of daily vigorous activity must be combined with smaller, more nutritious portions of food and slower eating in order to beat the growing childhood obesity epidemic. Another factor that must be mentioned in the overall health picture is the importance of adequate sleep. Kids should be getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night, close to the optimal hours of 9PM to 7AM. Otherwise, sleep disorders, high stress levels and obesity are more likely to result.

Reggie Reyes is a certified kinesiologist and personal trainer. He is the president and founder of pt4kids a company that creates specialized training programs for kids all ages and fitness levels.

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