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Teenage Obesity: A Lesson from The Brady Bunch

By HERWriter
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 Teenage Obesity: Lessons from The Brady Bunch MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

Like many high school teenagers today, I was both overextended and overweight. I had Marcia Brady syndrome where I tried out for every club and activity without the “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” body.

The Brady Bunch was one of my favorite shows. Back then, television was the only screen time most kids had access to.

The kids on the show played a lot more together and seemed to gravitate toward grabbing a healthy piece of fruit as they strolled into the kitchen after school. The Brady kids always seemed to have a balanced home-cooked meal such as “pork chops and applesauce” prepared by their housekeeper Alice.

The large family sat around the dining room table together each evening, probably because their kitchen was too small. I never understood why their father Mike, who was an architect, did not make it bigger.

Even the Brady Bunch singing group featured songs that encouraged activity with hits such as “Keep on Movin’” and “Sunshine Day,” whose lyrics encompassed such sentiments as “I think I’ll go for a walk outside now…”

When I recall walking home from school, and playing football in the backyard -- “Oh, my nose!” as immortalized by Marcia Brady -- I also remember the Brady kids always being active and involved in sports, even playing ball in the house.

That magic 70’s American Way of being an active kid has, in this age of technology and convenience, fallen to the wayside.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, “Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years.” An even more alarming statistic from the CDC is that “the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 21% over the same period.”

A new study from our neighbors in Canada now underscores the importance of “a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training ... as the best way for teens to battle obesity.”

The Canadian study specifically focused on overweight teens within the age range of 14-18. The approximately 300 participants were first all counseled on diet and nutrition and then split into four separate groups.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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