Too Much TV Can Increase Your Child's Risk Of Diabetes

Is your television the elephant in the room? That huge flatscreen that claims the attention of everyone in the room, sucking the attention away from books, exercise, and school work. Even turned off, it tempts us as the ideal solution to awkward silences, forced conversation, and strenuous activity. The kids want it, it’s easier than coming up with alternatives, and, let’s face it, you kind of want to see it yourself. So why not just give in and put it on? Because there is a laundry list of research proving that too much television is bad for your kids, and now there’s a new addition. Recent studies link television viewing with childhood diabetes.

The Facts
In a study done by British researchers, 4,500 children between the ages of nine and ten were asked about the amount of time they spent playing computer games and watching television. Of that number, 37% reported screen time of 60 minutes or less, while 18% claimed a daily habit of three or more hours.

An examination of the children to determine insulin resistance, blood sugar levels, amount of body fat and levels of physical activities followed. Results revealed that the children who admitted to three or more hours of screen time per day had a high level of insulin resistance, lower levels of the appetite controlling leptin, and a higher BMI, all of which are known risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

Group of children watching TV

However, before you push the off button on the remote control, keep in mind there are qualifying factors. According to Claire Nightingale, PhD, “Screen time could be capturing something about your behaviors-how much sedentary time you have and how much you break those up, (or) what your dietary habits (are), potentially, In other words, the tv watching may not be the problem, but rather the symptom of a larger problem.

Healthy Media Use
While there are no strict guidelines on how much tv viewing is dangerous, there are a few ways of keeping your child’s screen time down:

  • Plan to have media free family time together, like family dinners.
  • Designate media free locations in the home.
  • Find out how much time your child is spending on media and place limits on hours and types of media.
  • Engage in family activities like reading, sports, and talking.
  • Model behavior by turning off tv and smartphone during media free time.
  • Share media rules with grandparents or caregivers to make sure the rules remain consistent.
  • Get together with other parents in your community to advocate for healthier habits.

What are you doing to make sure that your kids’ viewing times are down to a minimum? Let us know what steps you’re taking as a parent to keep your kids healthy.

Family watching a movie

Resveralife Live Well: Our Favorite Family Movies

Family movie night can be a great weekly or monthly ritual that brings the entire family together. There are so many children’s movies available, but where are the kids movies that adults will be able to enjoy also. Reseralife rounded up our 10 favorite movies for the whole family.

The Incredibles
This is not your typical superhero and villain movie. Disney and Pixar once again teamed up for a movie that has a bit of something for every member of the family. There are jokes for kids, subtle humor for adults and the movie helps drive home the point that working together as a team (or family) is always a good idea. It also points out that there is no better person to be than the person you are.

The Goonies
This movie is definitely not for your littlest ones, but kids aged 10 or up will enjoy this action/fantasy adventure. The movie has a cult following for a reason: these treasure seeking friends “never say die” and they never give up on each other.

Mrs. Doubtfire
Your kids, and yourself as well, will love the hilarious antics of Robin Williams. Kids will get a glimpse of how a family can come back together, even if the parents are separated.

Steam train on the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, Scotland.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
You don’t have to be an avid Harry Potter fan to appreciate the first movie in the franchise. With a focus on education, accepting who you are, the importance of friends and being brave, Harry Potter is an excellent choice for the entire family.

Remember the Titans
If your family has a love of sports, this is a poignant film that the whole family can enjoy. Denzel Washington plays a high school football coach during the first year of integration in schools. Kids will get a small taste of racial strife in our country’s history and learns the importance of teamwork.

Shrek
Mike Meyers is a Scottish ogre who prefers to live his life in a quiet, isolated way. However, when the king exiles all fairy tale creatures from his kingdom, Shrek is forced to go on an unforgettable, and hilarious, journey with his faithful sidekick, Donkey. The resulting quest is full of laughs for the entire family.

Mary Poppins
Journey back to your childhood with this Disney classic. Julie Andrews plays everyone’s favorite nanny in this feel-good musical.

The Lego Movie
A more recent family favorite is the Lego Movie. Featuring Will Farrell and Chris Pratt, this movie reminds us all that it’s okay to be different.

The Karate Kid
Everybody loves a true underdog story and the Karate Kid is a classic tale of defying the odds. Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel not just about the sport of karate, but how many of the principles karate is founded on are applicable to everyday life.

Wreck-it Ralph
This 2012 animated movie tells the tale of Wreck-it Ralph who is tired of being outshined by Mr. Fix-it. Ralph is tired of having to be the bad guy in his video game and seeks a way to become the good guy instead. Meeting other video games characters along the way, Ralph discovers that it’s best to be yourself.

These movies range from serious to frivolous fun and every member of your family is sure to find something to love about each film. Grab some blankets, a bowl of popcorn and pop in one of these great family movies.

Family walking on a beach.

Activities For the Whole Fam to Keep Minds Healthy

A healthy family is perhaps the most important thing to you, and many others. Feeding your family a diet that nourishes the body and making time for exercise are two of the largest factors in your family’s health equation. However, you might be neglecting a significant area of health: your brain. Keeping your mind active and healthy improves cognitive function, increases focus and memory and can just be downright fun. We’ve come up with several activities the help stimulate the mind to keep it healthy.

Family on a walk.

Walking
Okay, yes we know we already mentioned exercise is important to your overall health, but walking is also an excellent brain activity. The benefits which can be found from walking include growth of new blood vessels in the brain, reducing inflammation and insulin resistance, and stimulating the release of growth factors – chemicals that are present in the brain and can affect the health of our brain cells. You don’t need to put your family in an exercise boot camp to get these brain benefits; a simple walk around the neighborhood as a family will produce these results.

Family playing a puzzle game.

Puzzles
Gathering your family to work on a puzzle together is a great way to spend quality time together while also keeping your minds healthy. You probably know that your brain is responsible for producing dopamine, but you may not know why that it important. Dopamine is the chemical that is largely responsible for learning and memory. Putting together a jigsaw puzzle with your family releases dopamine. The type of puzzle you use will probably be determined by the ages of your children. Younger children will require less complicated puzzles, so be sure to have some kid-friendly puzzles together as well as challenging puzzles for older children and other adults in your family.

Family playing a board game.

Board Games
In the age of electronics and technology, kids probably get more screen time than time spent with family playing games that really encourage a healthy mind. Board games are a great way to spend time together as a family and to improve your minds. Board games are great especially with children in the elementary school age range because they require learning skills such as taking turns, problem-solving and creative thinking. Some of our favorite family games are Uno, Scrabble and Battleship. Monopoly is a great game that teaches about money and cause and effect, but we recommend not trying this one with a toddler.

While the activities mentioned above are excellent ways to keep your family’s minds active and healthy, many of the things you do every day with your family also help keep the mind active. Listening and talking not only strengthen family bonds, but can help stimulate areas of your brain. You could also work on crosswords as a family, color mandalas together (or each color their own) or listen to classical music during meals. The activities available to keep your family’s minds healthy is limited only by your creativity.

Resveralife Reports: Studies Find that Teens Need More Time With Parents

We’re all guilty of it: as parents, life is hectic, busy, and downright overwhelming at times. In this day and age, it can be difficult to find time to take a bathroom break let alone set aside time for ourselves. Many of us have a difficult time managing the small amount of time we are given in the day, fitting everything in that needs to be done. Often times, we tend to overlook things that should be more important to us – family.

Studies have shown that not only do young children need time with their parents, but teens do, too. Now more than ever before, teenagers are making themselves heard and letting their parents know that they need more time with dear mom and dad. Resveralife wants to offer you some tips and advice on how you can go about implementing more time with your teen, and things you can do together to make that time memorable.

Make Time

Rushing around all day long may leave you frazzled and stressed by day’s end. Work should be left at work, as home and family life should come first and foremost once you walk through the door. Perhaps you have your entire after work schedule booked for a month out with friends, clubs, organizations and personal appointments. Change them. Break dates. Do whatever it is you need to do to ensure you are available for your teen. They deserve your time more than anything and anyone else does, and the only one capable of making time for them is you. Don’t let precious time slip by so you’re left regretting the time not spent in the end. Rather, be sure to set aside a specific time frame that is just for them so they can feel special every single day. Take one day out of the weekend and do something special together as well. Take a bike ride, a walk, or watch a movie. Whatever you do, make it count – life is short, and we only have our children for a short while before they leave home and head off to college, or move away. Embrace the time you can have with them here and now.

Find Common Ground

Find topics you both can relate to, and talk about them. Find out what they’re interested in, and show a genuine interest in the topic. Even if it’s something you know nothing about, show interest. Doing some research on their favorite band or singer or perhaps that particular hobby they have might allow you to appreciate it more how they see it. Find activities you are both interested in, and pursue them together.

Be Non Judgmental

One of the biggest reasons why teens feel as though they can’t talk to their parents is because they are afraid their parents might disapprove of them or what is on their mind. Keep an open mind and let them know you are always available for them to talk to you – no matter the topic, or the time. If they feel the need to wake you up in the middle of the night because they can’t sleep and need advice, get up, make some hot chocolate, sit at the table with them and be there. It can really hurt a teen’s confidence to know they can’t approach their parents about any topic, no matter how big or small. Show them unconditional love – no matter what.

Let Them Know You Love Them

Everyone expresses love in different ways, but teens need to know you love them just as much – if not more – than children. They like to be told you love and care about them. High school can take a toll on a teen’s mentality, and the struggles they are faced with every day, including making good decisions, choosing the right types of friends, and even who they choose to date – all comes down to whether or not they feel loved. For girls, this is a very impressionable time in which they could opt to make the wrong decision based upon their emotional well-being. Much the same for boys, the teen years is where a boy learns to become a man and exhibits signs of how the rest of his life will be. If a teen feels loved, he is more than likely to exhibit that love in healthy ways rather than make bad decisions.

No matter what you have going on in your life, always remember to make time out for your teen. They love getting your advice and spending time with you, even if they might not act like it at times. They’re still children, and they still need their parents. Push life aside and make room for your teen today.