The media over the past few years has been focusing more and more on the looming problem of childhood and teen obesity. One in three American children is slated to be diabetic. The federal government has launched a program called, “Let’s Move” with the aim of solving childhood obesity within a generation. It is a cooperative effort of parents, teachers, doctors, coaches, media, industry, and government to focus on this problem. The government Task Force on Childhood Obesity has developed 70 specific and measureable goals. The goals are too lengthy to go into detail here but can be found on government websites. To summarize, the main goals include:
• Giving kids a healthy start with good prenatal care, breastfeeding, good nutrition, exercise, and limited screen time
• Empowering parents and caregivers with improved food labels and dietary guidelines
• Improving food choices and meals in schools
• Access to healthy affordable food
• Getting youth more physically active through PE, recess, walking to school, riding bikes, and improving safe playground access
Learning more about adolescent obesity is key to any family’s healthy development. Eating natural foods, staying away from refined sugars and processed foods and encouraging exercise are critical to avoiding pediatric obesity. Obesity is not an individual disease but a family issue. Dr. Kothari, medical director for Dr. Shillingford’s Obesity Surgery practice ( Lap Band, Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Bypass) has a keen interest in counseling and educating families regarding child, adolescent and adult obesity.