The Link Between Obesity and Sexual Abuse

The effects of child sexual abuse (poor self esteem, poor body image, impulsive behavior and drug abuse) are common predictors of the binge eating and obesity. That is, compulsive eating may be one way to manage the depression related to child sexual abuse. Other factors in the connection between child sexual abuse and obesity, along with eating disorders, might include a desire to “de-sexualize” to protect against further abuse, as well as a range of psychiatric conditions (depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, physical complaints, phobic reactions, low self esteem, suicidal feelings and substance abuse).

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Maintaining Healthy Weight

Here is an easy thing to do to help your child stay a healthy weight. Encourage your child to run, skip or hop for just five minutes several times a day. Remember when you were a kid and you ran because you felt like running. Or maybe you were a hopper, or a skipper. Skipping home from school or to a friend’s house to play. These fast, spontaneous bouts of physical activity, researchers learned, can help fight childhood obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

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What If My Child Needs Bariatric Surgery?

If you are a parent of an extremely obese child you may need to consider bariatric surgery to help your child achieve a healthy weight. Children as young as 8 years have become candidates for bariatric surgery to reduce life threatening conditions. There are several serious issues raised when performing bariatric surgery on children. Here is a list of 10 things every parent needs to know and should expect from their doctors if their child is having bariatric surgery.

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Childhood Obesity and Heart Disease

Childhood obesity is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). 1 in 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese. Nearly 60 percent of overweight children have at least one cardiovascular risk factor because they are overweight. Childhood is a critical time for preventing obesity and the development of CVD risk factors and ultimately CVD in adults.

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What Kind of Calories Are Best For My Child?

Researchers are beginning to understand that our bodies process foods, or calories, in different ways. Therefore what our children eat is just as important as how much they eat. It turns out that the recent advice given by organizations such as the USDA and the American Heart Association to eat a low-fat, carbohydrate rich diet that included some sugars, and refined grains like bread and pasta, and even starchy vegetables like potatoes, could be the reason for the obesity epidemic.

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 Antibiotics and Childhood Obesity: Are Children Being Under-Treated?

For over 50 years doctors have prescribed antibiotics to children using this rule of thumb: a big child is equal to half an adult, and a small child is equal to half a big child, and a baby is equal to half a small child. But now that 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese and are as big as adults, can this rule of thumb still apply? Are children being under-treated?

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What Do I Say To My Child if They Are Overweight?

Research shows that children, especially girls, as young as five years of age are aware of their size and whether they are overweight. It is very important to talk to your child compassionately about their weight. What you say is important to discovering the best way to help them achieve a healthy weight.  

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Autism and Obesity: Findings from a New Study

A study published today in Pediatrics says the mothers who are obese are much more likely to have a child with autism and other developmental disabilities. This study takes us along a new path of research that will finally put the link between autism and vaccinations to rest. However, it is important to note that the study author from UC Davis, Irva Hertz-Picciottosay has been quoted as saying that "It's hard to say if they are lined, it might be there's some environmental factor that contributes to both the obesity epidemic and the rise in autism cases. Or it cold be the increase in obesity is, in fact, contributing to the increase in autism. But it's certainly not going to account for all of it."

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Is Childhood Obesity Neglect?

Todd Varness et al, provide an excellent overview and reasonable criteria for the removal of an extremely obese and sick child from the home. I think it is important to remember too, as we hear about these cases, that physicians rarely advocate for the removal (and usually only temporarily) of a child due to obesity and that these are extreme and very rare situations.

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The Link Between Depression and Obesity

Depression and obesity are often thought to be dependent on one another. If someone is overweight we often think they may be sad or depressed. A recent article in the International Journal of Obesity entitled, ”Intentional weight loss and changes in symptoms of depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” studied whether obesity causes depression.

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 System Overload: Foster Care Not the Solution for the Obesity Epidemic

Foster care is not the solution for providing much needed health care services to the 2 million children suffering from extreme obesity in the US. However, even though I agree with Dr. Ludwig in his recent article published in JAMA that under certain conditions removing an extremely obese child from the home may be a physicians duty and in the best interests of the child, it is, as most experts agree, a very slippery slope.

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