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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Is Your Doctor Helping Your Child Lose Weight?

Pediatricians are starting to use motivational interviewing techniques when counseling overweight children and their families. Instead of being lectured by your doctor about what you should be doing to help your child eat healthier and be more active, the doctor will ask you a series of questions. The questions will help guide you towards your own solution or plan. This technique works very well with parents who are either resisting change or feel they don’t have enough support to make changes in what their child eats or how much time they spend playing.

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Overweight Children And Bullying

The statistics on bullying are upsetting. In a recent national survey of overweight sixth graders, 24% of the boys and 30% of the girls experienced daily teasing, bullying, or rejection because of their size. The number doubles for overweight high schoolers with 58% of boys and 63% of girls experiencing daily teasing, bullying or rejection because of their size. Bullying has become epidemic in America.

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Nutrition Education for Frontline Responders

As you know by now, obesity affects one in three children. And you also know that obesity is a complex disease brought on by a multitude of societal problems. But did you know that physicians, at the front line of this epidemic, most likely lack education in basic nutrition? The very person a parent is most likely to ask questions like: What should I feed my child? or How much should I be feeding my child?

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Child Sexual Abuse and the Link to Obesity

We need to raise clinicians' awareness of the link between obesity and child sexual abuse so that they can respond and care most effectively for these children. And yes, a history of child sexual abuse further complicates the already complex issue of childhood obesity. However, it is important to remember that both are treatable under the care of informed and trained professionals.

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Worried Parents Are Ready Parents

Overweight parents who worry about their child’s weight are likely to try to do healthier things like going to farmer’s markets or learning to cook healthier meals. A group of Drexel University researchers studied 114 overweight parents and children and learned that worried parents are ready parents; ready to learn healthier changes and ready to help their child become healthier.

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Excellent Video To Help Stop Bullying of Overweight Children

Often overweight children are the victims of bullying and teasing not just in school but sometimes even parents say the wrong thing or tolerate in-home teasing. Dr. Rebecca Puhl of Yale University’s Rudd Food Policy Center has been studying how many overweight children are victims of bullying, what kinds of bullying and teasing they are experiencing and where and when it is happening.

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Coming Soon: New Childhood Obesity Screening Tool

Most doctors are using BMI to screen children for overweight or obesity. So why look for another screening tool? "Because BMI does not adequately describe regional (central) adiposity, other indices of body fatness are being explored," said Dr. Nafiu. When people have large necks they sometimes are more at risk for sleep apnea, diabetes, and hypertension.

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