Experts Discuss Obesity in Children

Recently a group of experts sat down to discuss the childhood obesity problem and what can be done about it. Julian Omidi discusses the Twitter Chat held Tuesday by Dr. Richard Besser of ABC News.

While we hear more and more about the childhood obesity issue in the United States it can still be difficult for parents, doctors, and teachers to broach and discuss the subject of obesity with children. In an effort to build a stronger conversation about this health issue, Dr. Richard Besser held a Twitter Chat on Tuesday and invited experts from the National Institutes of Health, CDC, and American Academy of Pediatrics. Here are some of the topics that were discussed.

Overwhelming Risk

The threats to all organs in the body that are posed by childhood obesity is very real and almost 3 in 4 children who are obese have at least one risk factor for hear disease. Not only are there physical risks but psychological ones as well; obese and overweight youth often suffer from depression, poor self-esteem, and anxiety.

Prevention

The Twitter Chat discussed how both governments and schools can play a key role in stemming the tide of childhood obesity. Not only are health food and exercise programs such as Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign beneficial, but educating kids on the importance of good nutrition is imperative in schools.

The fact of the matter is that it is easier to implement prevention than having to pay for treatment later. Doctors reported finding it much more difficult to treat obesity than to work toward preventing it. A helpful rule that can assist parents is the following formula:

  • 5-2-1-0 Formula – Eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day; don’t let your child participate in more than 2 hours of screen time each day; make sure that children get 1 hour of exercise each day; and include 0 sugary drinks.

You can read an entire transcript of the ABC Twitter Chat here.

Julian Omidi

[1] http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/03/13/experts-weigh-in-on-childhood-obesity/

 

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