Childhood Obesity: Expert Q & A

Childhood Obesity: Expert Q & A


[MUSIC PLAYING] DR. THOELE: I became a doctor
25 years ago, and at that time there weren’t very many children
who– there were always some who were overweight or obese. And it was– but
it was much rarer. There are a lot of
health conditions that were pretty much
unheard of at that time. Kids with high cholesterol,
high triglycerides, and type 2 diabetes didn’t exist then. They used to call type 2
diabetes adult onset diabetes, because it didn’t
occur in children. In my three years of
residency 25 years ago, I saw zero kids who
had childhood diabetes, and that is quite different now. There are many
children in my practice and in every
pediatrician’s practice who have type 2 diabetes. The family is the most important
determinant of the environment of the child lives in. In other words, it
makes a big difference if all around you
everybody’s eating junk food. It makes a big difference if
the school lunches are no good. But it makes much more
of a difference what kind of environment is
created in the home, and the parents and
the families are what have a big say in
that– how you live life, and what are your values, and
what kind of environment it is. And there are some
families which have created an extremely
healthy environment, which I see a lot of benefits
for those children, and some other families
where the environment is not so healthy. And there’s some effects
from those as well. I think the most
important thing is how you set the tone for
your children. In other words, if you
take a shameful thing– kids don’t want to be yelled at. So if you take a thing of you
need to eat your vegetables, eat your vegetables,
that will never work. And I think the tone that I
try to set with my patients and that I suggest parents
set with their children is I love you so much. I really want you to do this. This is really,
really important, and I want you to be around. And I want you to live a
good life and a healthy life. And I try to make
the connection, and I think parents can make
the connection between living a healthy life, and the
quality of their life, and accomplishing
whatever their goals are. When I talk to my patients,
it’s not of much good if I tell them, well, you
need these healthy things, but secretly I know
that I’m eating junk. I practice what I preach. I eat pretty healthy food, a
lot of vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods. I live 15 miles away from
here, and I ride my bike to work most of the year. And I’ll ask my patients, how do
you think I got to work today? And they’ll say, I guess
you drove or something, or you walked. And I say, no, I live 15 miles
from here, and I rode my bike. And if I can find time to
ride my bike for an hour here and an hour back, then
you can find time for that. [MUSIC ENDING]

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