An Epidemic of Excess: childhood obesity

childhood obesityObesity is the number one health concern in the United States  and now we have allowed it to spill over to our children.  About one and three children and teens in the United States is overweight or obese.  Unfortunately overweight children now have about  a 75% chance of staying over weight their entire life.

We know that there is an absolute and direct link from obesity to heart disease, type two diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other medical issues. There is also much to be said about physical complications, social and emotional complications.  The good news is that obesity can be stopped and it’s relatively simple to do.

We know that there is an absolute and direct link from obesity to heart disease, type two diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other medical issues. There is also much to be said about physical complications, social and emotional complications.  The good news is that obesity can be stopped and it’s relatively simple to do.

The solution is food, or more accurately, nutrition. There are other factors of course such as diminished physical activity, greater access to poor quality food such as fast food and larger meal portions.
Children and adults need to be accurately assessed prior to being treated. This includes physical examination evaluation for medical conditions and physical conditions as well as bloodwork to understand underlying chemistry that could affect weight gain or weight loss.

So how do we begin ensure or reinstate adequate nutritional health for our children? Treatment is complex. It involves much more than just food. Detailed and individualized diet counseling is the base of treatment but also appropriate physical activity, massive fluid intake, (water), and sometimes medications. Vitamins and nutrient supplements are absolutely essential in children and adults.

You would think that everyone would know by now what not to eat. Do we even need to go there?  If so, google junk food.  The difficult part is what to eat, when and how much. This part is very specific and is directly related to chemistry and important hormones such as insulin metabolism.  For children the primary damaging causation of obesity is consumption of the wrong carbohydrates. Not carbohydrates in general but the wrong carbohydrates. A low carbohydrate diet is still the basis for children and adults, but low carbohydrate really implies  low index of sugar. Sugar comes in many forms. Many of the foods that we understood to be healthful and safe are not. Unfortunately, with genetically modified food even wheat now is a nemesis of modern health. Soy is now 85% GMO.

So when do I get to the point and just tell you what to feed your children? That’s like making a medical diagnosis over the telephone,  it’s not possible. In general though, lean protein sources such as chicken and fish are the base of all good diets.  Next, the good fats: coconut oil, olive oil and then butter in that order and nothing else. By the way, fats are not what make us fat, the real culprit is the wrong carbs. I am saying the wrong carbs because we must have carbohydrates in our diet.  The true, optimal carbs, in general are the low index carbs; vegetables for example, anything green, yellow or red.  Rice and potatoes are great but in moderation. Sweet potatoes?  Absolutely! it’s a super food.  There are low index fruits and again you want to consume them in moderation. A few examples are  berries, grapes and apples.  Everything else has too much sugar in it for healthy weight management.  Wheat? Don’t eat. Maybe I should rephrase that, don’t eat anything made of wheat. Sugar? Eat nothing with more than 3 grams of sugar per serving (which will probably eliminate all packaged foods and offend everyone reading this – not exactly my goal but I do want to help you lose weight!) ..

It is complex but it’s not complicated which means, it is doable. Weight and nutritional management is a science now and help is out there for you and your children.

Dr. Richard Bloy has served the Fort Myers and Naples  communities for more than 25 years.  Over the past few years he has expanded his services to include Medi Weightloss Clinics for outstanding medically supervised weight-loss, bio-identical hormone replacement, skin care, and aesthetics. More information can be found at drbloy.com and mediweightloss clinics.com

Richard Bloy, M.D.
6150 Diamond Centre Court • Building 400
Fort Myers, FL 33912
(239) 333-0828
Robert E. Rinaldi, M.D.
90 Cypress Way East • Suite 45
Naples, FL 34110
(239) 325-1633

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