Lecture to Offer Tips on Fighting Childhood Obesity
Professor Believes Parents Can Cut Risk Factor With Insight on Caloric Intake
Feb. 25, 2009
One in three children in America are considered at risk for becoming overweight, a trend that has worsened since the ’80s and ’90s. The good news, according to Dr. Shayla Holub, developmental psychologist in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, is that parents and educators can reduce the odds.
“The current environment can promote obesity in children, but parents can step in to help their children develop healthy eating habits,” said Holub.
She points to the need for parent education so that parents can make informed decisions when feeding their children.
“Approximately 40 percent of children’s total energy intake comes from discretionary fat and sugar,” she said. “Once a parent understands this intake, he or she can make critical changes.”
Holub will offer parents tips at a lecture tonight, Wednesday, February 25, at 7 p.m. in CN 1.102. The lecture, titled “Childhood Obesity: How Parents Can Help Children Develop Healthy Eating Practices,” is part of the Center for Children and Families’ free Spring Lecture Series for parents, educators and child development practitioners.
During the lecture Holub plans to help parents:
- Understand their children’s food preferences.
- Promote healthy nutrition and caloric intake.
- Teach children to accept new foods to avoid picky eating.
- Promote healthy attitudes regarding eating and weight.
In addition to her research about children’s attitudes and behaviors related to body size, feeding and nutrition, Holub looks at children’s social and personality development, self-related cognitions and ecological influences on child development. She earned her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Bowling Green State University. Holub joined UT Dallas in 2005.
The Center for Children and Families is part of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. For more information about the lecture series or the center, visit the Web site.