National Childhood Obesity Month: Doctor shares tips to promote healthy growth in kids

- One in three children in the United States are overweight or obese, putting them at high risk for health problems like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Obese children also face more bullying and stigma --and are at risk of lifelong physical and mental health problems.

September is National Childhood Obesity Month, and Physician Nutrition Specialist Dr. Adrienne Youdim, MD, shared tips to promote healthy growth in children and prevent obesity:

-Screen Time: The National Institute of Health reports the average child spends five to seven hours in front a screen each day. Dr. Youdim says, “This has to change. Screen time is associated with obesity. Shutting it down can results in just as much weight loss as an exercise program.”

-Juice Shops: They are popping up everywhere as a “healthy” alternative to sodas, but the truth is these juices will never beat whole fruit. Dr. Youdim says, “Pediatricians are urging zero consumption of fruit juice in children under age one, and modified consumption in older children. No one should be fooled. Some of these “healthy” juices are sugar-filled diet killers.”

-Say it like it is: The stigma attached to being obese has left some wondering whether the term obesity should be modified to simply “overweight.” Dr. Youdim says, “NO. The danger is too high to sugar coat this with more palatable terms.  It is a medical term that should be used when it fits the degree of excess weight.

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