Treating Childhood Obesity with Cheryl Beighle, MD

Treating Childhood Obesity with Cheryl Beighle, MD


Childhood obesity, or actually obesity
in general in the United States, has gone up dramatically in the last 30 years. I think a lot of is food. Our food
has dramatically changed. Our family
lifestyle and how people eat has changed. Family meals used to be
very common. They’re less common. People are eating in their cars.They’re going out way more. Our food industry’s been
very good packaging highly palatable, addictive, large
portion size food to us and we’ve kinda gone with it which is to our significant health
detriment. To tell if your child’s overweight, it depends on the age of the child, the height of the child, and the weight of the child because as you
know children are growing and changing all the time. One resource would be your pediatrician. We
have growth charts and we can calculate something called
the BMI, which is body mass index, which takes into account height, weight, and proportions. The Center
for Disease Control has a website that goes into nutrition, height, weight
and actually has BMI calculators for children. It
would be at the CDC.gov website. You could put in your child’s
height, weight and then get an idea of where do they fit on the BMI chart. Increased weight is associated with lots of medical
conditions, diabetes. Type 2 diabetes was unheard of in childhood and now is actually
starting to be something that we deal with in pediatrics. Increased lipids, cholesterol. There’s the
social implications. Kids that are overweight feel uncomfortable. They don’t like
turning up for sports. They don’t like to go to PE. Those are probably the main things that
we worry about in the beginning, but you know is you go
on it’s harder to be a normal weight adult if you’ve been an overweight child. There’s an increased incidence of cancer if
you have an increased weight, heart disease later on. There are health implications that
just go on and on and on. Start looking at how your family is
eating because obesity in a child is not a child’s problem. It’s a family system
problem. Children who don’t have family dinners
are more likely to be overweight. How much are we going out? Children do not need to drink juice,
sports drinks, soda or any of those things. That’s empty
calories and lots of sugar. Water is essential. From my perspective, other than the milk and water most kids
do not need other drinks in the house it just teaches
your child that water by itself is not a good source of nutrition. What’s our activity in our
family? Do we do things together physically? If not, why not? Why aren’t
we getting outside and playing ball together, riding bikes together? A healthy diet for
children is a healthy diet for humans. It is whole grains, things say actually whole grain on the package. Bread that is whole grain, you cannot
push down into a little bitty ball. So if you’re bread mushes down into
a goo ball, the odds are it’s not whole grain. It doesn’t have any fiber in it. Fruits and vegetables. Recommended
would-be for an adult five to 10 servings a day. And the average American gets one or two. Lean meats. Lean dairy. Again looking at calcium intake, are they
getting yogurt, cheese, non-fat milk. I always figure
that if my grandparents wouldn’t recognize this as food, it probably isn’t food. It’s
been a processed food product that has been put on the market and our
marketing departments in the food industry are very good at
getting us to want their foods.

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