There is no clear evidence that schools are contributing to the growth in obesity. The obesity-related complaints about school lunches, vending machines, and physical education are based largely on the assumption that these factors are causing our kids to get fat. Yet, I find little evidence to support this claim. For example, in looking at survey data on the health behavior of middle and high school students, the factor I found that best predicted whether or not a kid was obese was tooth brushing .
More important than how much junk food they ate, soda they drank, or physical education they received was whether or not they brushed their teeth. Among fourteen- to seventeen-year-olds, only 16 percent of kids who brushed their teeth more than once a day were overweight compared to 24 percent who brushed less than once a day. Of course, other factors were important as well — teenagers who play more computer games, eat more fast-food, and drink less whole milk were also more likely to be obese — but these factors were tiny in comparison with tooth brushing. Meanwhile school policies, such as whether the kid was in physical education or ate school lunches, had no predictive power for whether or not a child was obese.
Now obviously the act of brushing one’s teeth plays little direct role in a child’s weight, but it is a good indicator of something else — in what type of household the child lives. Children who brush their teeth more often are more likely to come from homes where health and hygiene are a priority…In other words, outside of genetics, the biggest factor predicting a child’s weight is what type of parenting they receive .
I don’t know about you, but I know that after I brush my teeth, I am less likely to put food in my mouth! It’s that fresh, minty taste on my teeth and tongue that makes the thought of adding food not very appealing. What a great way to fight off cravings and if it can help with the child obesity epidemic that we are facing..what a plus!
If you are looking for a great NEW toothbrush, Oral-B has just come out with a new toothbrush-the CrossAction Pro-Health. I have recently purchased this toothbrush and really love it! There are two rows of soft gum stimulators, positioned on either side of the brush head that massage the gums. At first it was weird, but after I realized what it was for, I really like how my mouth felt after using it. I also like that it has a built-in tongue cleaner on the reverse side of the brush head–great way to insure you won’t have bad breath!