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Cute & Chubby is for Babies Only...

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Cute & Chubby is for Babies Only...

It’s hard to resist the cuteness of a chubby baby. Their cute cheeks are so adorable. Many of us are just born with a little more meat on our bones and had nothing to do with it. Our only responsibility was to relish in all the ’oohs and ahs over being so gosh darn adorable. There is no link between chubby babies being at any higher risk for childhood obesity than any other newborn but in a few short years, childhood weight becomes a heavy predictor of adult health. Those few short months of being adored for having cute chunky thighs are short-lived!

Over 100% Increase in Overweight Children
In the past 30 years, the number of children being diagnosed as overweight has increased over 100%. Doctors have pretty much eliminated using the term “early onset of Type 2 Diabetes” simply with ‘Type 2’ because children as young as eight are now being diagnosed. One study found after a 15-year follow-up of children being diagnosed with Type 2, there is an alarming rate of blindness, amputation, kidney failure and death in young adulthood.

Back to the Future
To stress the importance of focusing on preventing childhood obesity, consider the following facts quoted by Michael Greger, M.D. when reporting about this study:

  • Being an overweight teen may predict disease risk 55 years later, including twice the risk of dying from heart attack, more cancer, gout and arthritis.
  • In fact being overweight as a teen “was a more powerful predictor of these risks then being overweight in adulthood.”

Why the Sudden Increase in Childhood Diabetes?
Thirty years may not seem so sudden but relative to a 100%+ increase in diagnosis of any disease within that span of time, that isn’t so long after all. The dramatic rise in childhood diabetes is directly linked to the rise in childhood obesity. The culprits? Fast food, less vegetables and fewer fruits. Fast-paced lifestyles, convenience dining, on-the-go meals… Ultimately, the responsibility is in the hands of the parents and the child to make better choices, which is difficult in our action-packed, gotta-have it now culture.

However, the statistics are compelling, if not downright startling! Once an obese child reaches age six, it’s likely they’ll stay obese their entire life. Even if they don’t, the stress of being overweight while we are young predicts future disease and death regardless of adult body weight. If that doesn’t scare us all to eat and promote healthy eating in our homes, what will it take? The unfortunate truth is writing that sentence is easier than always making the “right” choices. Making better choices more often and having “junk” food be the exception and not the rule seems like a promise we should all be able to keep. Doesn’t it?

The Best Diets for Kids
Experts says a plant-based diet full of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes will help keep kids and adults within their ideal weight on the BMI chart. The more vegan and less meat eating diet you can sustain, the higher your chances for a lower BMI become. On average, vegans weigh 30-pounds less than their meat-eating counterparts. If strictly vegan is not for you and your family, remember these alternatives:

  • Select lean cuts when buying red meat. Trim animal when possible. Rely on spices for flavor rather than the animal fat. (Yes, we know, we’re taking all the fun out of it.)
  • Try ground turkey in that call for ground beef. Spaghetti, chili, etc. Chances are, your family will never even notice the difference. Mixing ground turkey with your ground beef is another trick to start reducing red meat from your family’s diet.
  • Use reduced-fat cheese when baking.
  • Switch to skim or soy milk. (They may complain at first but they will be okay. In the long run, they will be so much better; this is a change that is worth the grief you may get about it now.)
  • Stop buying pop/soda. Diet or regular. Doesn’t matter. If you don’t buy it, they won’t have it to drink. This may make them drink more water, which is a wonderful thing for anybody at any age! Don’t you feel good for making your kids healthier already? J

Is fast food your only option? If so, make deals with your kids. “We are going to drive through today but you can have chicken nuggets only if you have apple slices.” Get them in the habit of making the healthiest choices possible when they can by having to make a healthy choice each time. A fried entrée + a fried side = future heart attack. It’s important for kids to understand, without scaring them, that the choices they make now affect their entire lives. Good habits and eating patterns start young.

What about School Lunches

The truth is that it is cheaper to feed your family an unhealthy meal than it is to feed them fresh vegetables, fruits and lean cuts of meats. It is cheaper to be unhealthy than it is to be healthy and that is the crux of many of our health issues today. The reality is that school lunch programs may not all have the best choices but there are options and your child is ready to make the right one, thanks to you. Sending a healthy snack and starting with a healthy breakfast is another sentence easier to write than is it to make happen each day. Promise to try and make your kids part of that promise to keep themselves healthy. Together, is the best way for a family to succeed!




Employee Spotlight: Dan Hays, Membership Services

I was born in Omaha, Nebraska and raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa. I attended Lewis Central High School and played football, baseball, golf and wrestling. After high school I wanted to do something different that would be rewarding and exciting and I joined the Army in the Airborne Infantry. I’ve completed Ranger Assessment Selection Program and Airborne school. After an injury I was honorably discharged in December 2011. Since January 2012, I’ve been attending University of Nebraska Omaha pursuing a degree in Business Management and Marketing. My love for fitness has always been a part of my life, which has lead me to working here at Prairie Life Fitness as I finish my degree. 

Manager's Corner

Summer Success

How’s your summer going so far? Is there anything we can do to help? If so, please stop by the front desk anytime. We are here to ensure that Prairie Life Fitness is meeting and exceeding your expectations.

Summer is always fun for us because we are dedicated to making fitness a family affair. Since day one, being a club that included kids was part of our vision. Not just to make it more convenient for the parents when you work out but also for your kids. We believe in making fitness fun and building healthy lifestyles early. This month’s newsletter discusses alarming facts about childhood diabetes and obesity. Makes us more resolute in our passion to get and keep children in on the action. Everyone who loves a kid or once was a kid should read this month’s article. Yes, that means you…


Refer a friend or family member and get a $25 referral credit.  See Membership for details. 


Prairie Life Fitness at Midtown in partnership with Midtown Crossing is extending Wednesday Night Workouts in the Park through September.  Events are held at 5:30pm in Turner Park.  The August dates, trainers and formats are:





August’s Line-up can be viewed online on Midtown’s Facebook page as well as Midtown Crossing’s Facebook page.     


Personal Training Demo Week August 10th-14th only!  Sign up for a free individual, tandem, or small group training session with any of our Certified Personal Trainers.  Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!  Sign up today, limited spots available! Contact one of Midtown’s personal trainers or Karla Leriger, at

Check out and download our PerFit Application today!  It is a great way to reach your goals with the help of a personal trainer even if you can’t make it into the gym.  Check out our application online at  or .


Looking to switch things up?  Contact Jennifer Westphal at for a free demo for anyone new to Reformer.

MASSAGE THERAPY – Schedule a massage today by calling 402-916-5000. 

The dog days of summer heat are upon us so stay diligent with your sunscreen and keep having a ton of fun!

Thank you for your membership!


Beth Carpenter, General Manager

Perfit exercise of the month

Bird Dog - Feel the Stretch!

Click above to see a video of our exercise of the month and click below to download PerFit, available on both iPhone and Android!



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