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New Online Training Program Available to Combat Disturbing Trend in Pandemic-Induced Childhood Obesity

Child Psychologist Provides Behavioral Approaches to Healthy Eating and Exercise

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS , UNITED STATES, June 23, 2021 / -- Dr. Lori Fishman, a leading parenting expert and child psychologist, today announced the availability of a new training program for parents to encourage healthy eating and exercise behaviors. “Past, Parent & Future” founded by Dr. Lori Fishman is an online consultation and training program that is focused on behaviorally-based techniques for parents who want to help manage their child’s weight without shame or dieting.

As the pandemic raged on, the coronavirus created an anxious atmosphere that led to a significant increase in unhealthy weight gain in children. With remote learning, restrictions on playgrounds, and hours spent in front of screens, children gained weight, which, according to doctors, could contribute to diabetes and other worrisome health issues. For millions of kids, the pandemic resulted in little-to-no physical activity, no physical education classes, and the cancellation of sports. Additionally, many kids were eating less nutritious meals as highlighted in this report from the National Library of Medicine

“While mental health experts warn of an ‘echo pandemic’, a rise in depression and anxiety resulting from COVID-19 restrictions, there has been little to no talk about the alarming uptick in child obesity,” said Dr. Lori D. Fishman, child psychologist, parenting expert and instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “We need to take a behavioral, family-based approach to pediatric weight gain rather than focus on just dieting or nutrition.”

As an attending psychologist who has worked in the Optimal Wellness for Life Clinic at Boston Children's Hospital for over a decade, Dr. Fishman has counseled thousands of children and families concerned about weight. She is bringing her key findings and practical hands-on knowledge to parents everywhere with her new online consultation and training program.

Parents often struggle with talking to their children about weight. Some prefer to ignore the conversation altogether to avoid shaming. Other parents tend to hyper-focus on their child's eating, searching for diets for kids or asking their pediatricians for guidance.

Here are her five tips for parents who are struggling with childhood obesity issues:

● Eat all meals and snacks at a table on a plate without screens. When we eat standing up or on the phone, our body does not recognize that we are eating and we tend to have too much or not feel full. Eating mindfully and paying attention to our food helps us feel more satisfied. Kids should not be eating in their bedrooms or on the couch.

● Get out of the DIET mindset - When we go on a strict diet and eat something not approved, we call it “cheating.” This often makes us feel terrible about ourselves, and we tend to keep eating poorly, feeling that we already ruined the diet. A healthier mindset allows for treats on occasion because you live a healthy lifestyle most of the time. Balancing treats is a better approach than restricting food entirely.

● Minimize triggers in the home - If you’re about to pick up a box of cookies at the grocery store and say to yourself, "If I buy these, they will disappear in 5 minutes," do not buy them. Avoid having foods in the home that are difficult to control. It is better to have one ice cream cone out than to have a gallon of ice cream in your freezer.

● Set an Expectation for Exercise: If you make your moving time part of your child's daily routine or schedule it like a work meeting or appointment, they are more likely to make it a priority and get it done. Sports and structured activities are ideal as they are also fun and social. Parents should limit screen time until the physical activity has been completed, the same way they might have rules or expectations for homework to be completed before playing video games.

● Make healthy changes as a family: Adults who role model and set those behavioral goals as a family expectation will have kids who grow up with healthy habits. Your kids will struggle less later if they learn these habits now. Plus, working together as a team makes it so much easier to make lifestyle changes.

About Dr. Lori Fishman
Dr. Lori Fishman is the founder of Past, Parent & Future, an online training, and consultation program for parents who want to help their children manage weight without shame. She is an attending psychologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and an instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fishman runs a busy therapy practice just outside of Boston and runs training programs for local pediatricians. To learn more about Dr. Fishman or schedule a media interview, visit

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