Recently, we at Anxiety, Addiction and Depression Treatments had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Jenny Isaacs, who holds a doctorate in child clinical psychology and lectures as a Professor at Yeshiva University.
In the clip below Dr. Isaacs speaks about the importance of teaching children healthy lifestyle habits early in life.
Numerous studies have shown that children who exercise and participate in physical fitness programs show greater loss of body fat, increase in cardiovascular fitness, and improve in fasting insulin levels. The ground work for life long psychological health, equally as important, is also laid during this period.
This study from the October 2005 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (APAM) showed that students participating in school based exercise programs saw increased health benefits over those that did not participate.
A second study, published in Psychology and Aging Vol. 19 No. 1 examined the effects of emotional support from parents in early life. Researchers found, "that a lack of parental support during childhood is associated with increased levels of depressive symptoms and chronic conditions in adulthood. These associations between early parental support and adult health persist with increasing age throughout adulthood."
Finally, the results of a 20 year survey of health factors published in December 2003 in the APAM showed that the most important factor in predicting adult weight problems was a drop off in leisure time physical activity from adolescence into adulthood. These results illustrate that if healthy attitudes toward exercise and nutrition are instilled during childhood and adolescence, it greatly increases the positive outcomes in adulthood.