Not All Calories Are Created Equal
The ones in nutrient-rich foods are best I An interview with Trudy Theiss, M.S., R.D., CDE
t’s a basic truth: If you consume more calories
than you burn, you gain weight. But what, ALL AGES
exactly, is a calorie? And are there any differ-
ences among calories from different food sources?
“Calories represent the energy-producing poten-
tial in food,” says California Pacific Medical Center
Registered Dietitian Trudy Theiss, M.S., R.D., CDE. “The
energy released when your body metabolizes food fuels the 2 The Doctor Is In
growth and maintenance of body tissues, the conduction of 3 Yoga and tai chi
electrical nerve impulses, the work of muscles during physi-
4 Confronting health
cal activity and the heat production necessary to maintain care disparities
body temperature. If you take in more calories than required
for those body functions, your body stores the excess as fat.” 6 California Pacific’s
cardiac team mends
Cutting down on sugar
Theiss notes that some calories are “better”than others. 7 Healthy eating
“Better calories”come from nutrient-rich foods that contain habits begin early
lots of vitamins and minerals.“In today’s diets, sugar, which
is not a nutrient-rich food, can make up a large part of the
daily calorie intake,”says Theiss.
To cut down on sugar in children’s diets, Theiss sug-
gests limiting fruit juices, since they can contain as much
sugar as sodas. “Fresh fruit is always a better choice than
juice because you get fewer calories, plus more fiber and
other nutrients,”she explains.
Fat in your child’s diet
In addition to monitoring sugar intake, parents should
be concerned about the number of calories from fats.
“Fats are a necessary nutrient, but excess fat calories
are quickly converted into body fat,” Theiss says.
continued on page 5
Combating Childhood Obesity
A Special Focus for HealthyKids I by David Tejeda, M.D., chair, Department of Pediatrics,
and Oded Herbsman, M.D., medical director, Pediatric Inpatient Services
O besity, a growing epidemic among children,
is poised to pass tobacco as America’s lead-
ing preventable killer. For children, the health risks
program that will be unveiled later
in 2006. This effort will target at-risk
communities within San Francisco,
providing them with convenient clinic
locations, community programs, and
associated with obesity are serious. At California
diet and exercise classes. We will share
Pacific, we are seeing an increase in many more news about this program in a
health issues related to obesity, namely, future issue.
a rise in childhood diabetes, sleep apnea, We hope this issue of HealthyKids gives
orthopedic problems and psychiatric you some needed information and tools
issues. The obesity epidemic is particu- to keep your family’s health in check!
larly disturbing because overweight Please let us know of any pediatric health
children often become obese adults, questions (see our “Doctor Is In” column California Pacific pedia-
with problems such as diabetes, heart below), newsletter feedback or topic
tricians are establishing
disease and hypertension. suggestions. Our editorial contact infor-
To combat the obesity epidemic mation is provided at the back of this a pediatric obesity
locally, California Pacific pediatricians magazine. We look forward to hearing program that will be
are establishing a pediatric obesity from you! # unveiled later in 2006.
The Doctor Is In
Your child’s health questions answered I by David Tejeda, M.D., chair, Department of Pediatrics
My son’s verbal skills are the least transient delay in language development.
Q: developed in his preschool class.
I’m not sure if it’s because he is the
However, it does not cause significant
language delay. Reading to your child
youngest in the class, or the fact that he’s daily has a positive impact on language
exposed to both English and Chinese at development. #
Submit Your Question home. When should I be concerned
about his language development and
If you have a child’s health how do I pursue an assessment?
question that you want
It is important to discuss your
addressed in a future
issue of HealthyKids, A: concerns with your child’s pedia-
trician. All children should routinely
e-mail it to us at:
have developmental assessments, which
typically occur at well-child visits. Use
or visit www.cpmc.org/ these visits to discuss any issues relevant
pediatrics. Due to space to your child’s age. There is a wide range
Reading to your child
limitations, we cannot of normal language development.Your
pediatrician will help determine if your daily has a positive
guarantee that all ques-
son’s speech is delayed. If so, referral for impact on language
tions will be answered.
a hearing test or further evaluation may development.
be warranted. Learning two languages at
the same time may be a factor in mild,
Exercise for the Mind # AGES 5-15
and Spirit, As Well As Body
Yoga and tai chi offer exercise, relaxation I by Jennifer Cohen, M.D., pediatric hospitalist
A s yoga and tai chi gain popularity among
adults for pain management and injury
prevention, many parents wonder if these
activities are also appropriate for children.
Yoga, which originated in India,
engages participants in a series of pos-
tures that promote strength, balance,
flexibility and relaxation. Its regular use
has been reported to improve attention
deficit disorder (ADD) and asthma, as
well as migraines and other pain prob-
lems. Although very little research has
been done on its health benefits for
children, yoga is generally a safe activity
that, at the very least, will help with
relaxation and stress reduction.
Finding a child’s yoga class
Some adult yoga studios offer classes
specifically for kids, while others cater
exclusively to children and may include
activities such as dance or art classes.
Children as young as 3 may be interested
in yoga; many of the postures are named
for animals that children like to imitate. quiet the mind, relax the body and Yoga engages par-
Before registering your child, ask to improve balance. In Chinese medicine, ticipants in a series
Yoga is generally observe a class. Classes for smaller chil- tai chi is recommended to balance the of postures that
dren may be geared toward having fun, body’s organ systems and restore health. promote strength,
a safe activity
while those for older kids and teens may Health benefits are well-documented in balance, flexibility
that, at the very be quieter and more relaxing. A good adults, but again, little research has been
least, will help and relaxation.
teacher can engage children of all ages. done in children. Classes for children
with relaxation He or she will encourage correct posi- will generally be found at martial arts
tioning and offer alternatives for children studios. Look for teachers who instruct
who are less flexible. Children should be without criticizing and encourage a
reduction. taught and reminded to respect and tune noncompetitive atmosphere.
in to any pain they may feel. The lessons Yoga and tai chi are generally safe for
in body awareness, as well as strength, healthy children — including those with
balance and flexibility, will help children special needs — but, as with any exercise
with other activities as well. program, consult your pediatrician before
registering your child in a class. While the
Tai chi for children research into these exercises for children
Tai chi, also known as “meditation in is minimal, both clearly have advantages
motion,” is an ancient form of Chinese in being noncompetitive and helping to
meditation that uses a series of slow establish physical activity and mental
movements, with controlled breath, to wellness habits that can last a lifetime. #
Confronting African American Health
Putting kids’ needs first I An interview with Nadine Burke, M.D., MPH
cross the United States, the infant mortality rate among African
A _Americans is more than double the rate among the general
population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. In San Francisco, the infant mortality rate for African
Americans is four times the rate of the city’s general population.
To confront this astonishing disparity good job addressing the disparities
and other instances of inadequate in health care delivery for the African
health care coverage for San Francisco’s American community. For example,
African American community, California the rate of asthma hospitalization for Dr. Burke joined California Pacific as a direct
Pacific Medical Center joined forces children living in the Bayview district is result of the hospital’s involvement in the
three years ago with all hospitals in roughly six to seven times that of chil- African American Health Disparity Project.
the city to form the African American dren living in the Marina. One of our
Health Disparity Project (AAHDP). goals is to dramatically reduce the num- regardless of the neighborhood in
“Many African Americans in San ber of preventable hospitalizations.” which they live.”
Francisco live in communities that have Dr. Burke joined California Pacific as One of Dr. Burke’s dream programs
been marginalized,”says Nadine Burke, a direct result of the hospital’s involve- is about to become a reality when
M.D., MPH, a California Pacific pedia- ment in the AAHDP. “This type of work California Pacific opens the Bayview
trician with a master’s degree in public is my dream — to create programs that Child Health Center at the Arthur H.
health.“San Francisco’s health care help ensure all San Francisco children Coleman Medical Center on 3rd Street.
providers have historically not done a have the opportunity to grow up healthy, This center will offer such medical
Get Your Kids to Log Off
“Screen time” cuts into physical pastimes
T elevision and video games have deprived children of outside play
for years. Now that most homes have a personal computer and
about a third of kids ages 8 to 18 have one in their room, health
experts have raised concerns about safety and inactivity.
Going “online”can expose young- Children and teens should
sters to predators or cause them to get at least 60 minutes a day of physical
waste hours in chat rooms. In addition, activity, according to the 2005 dietary
rising “screen time”can cost kids the guidelines from the U.S. Department with your children by walking with
exercise they need to keep fit. of Agriculture and the Department of your kids a few nights a week after
“Activity levels are waning, due to Health and Human Services. supper, for instance. Consider shutting
changes in [school] curricula, computer off the weekend cartoons to do a family
technology and community resources,” How can you help? activity like bike riding, hiking or
says Carl Foster, Ph.D., president of the A lot of doctors say you should take swimming.
American College of Sports Medicine. TVs and PCs out of kids’ rooms and “While your children may complain
“As a result, our kids are getting fatter limit screen time to less than two in the short term, they will be healthier
and may be the first generation not to hours a day. They also say you should and better developed people for having
have a longer life expectancy than their encourage more exercise. This is a ter- a little less electronic input,”says Dr.
parents.” rific opportunity to spend quality time Foster, a professor of sports science at
Not All Calories continued from page 1
Parents should be selective about the
type of fats their children consume, and
limit saturated and trans-fats as much
services as vaccinations, well-child as possible. Remember, the lower the fat
exams and urgent-care visits, along with content, the bigger portion you get for
follow-up and continuous care for long- the same number of calories.”
term health problems. Families can also Consumption of calorie-dense foods
get referrals to medical specialists for and lack of adequate exercise are directly
problems ranging from diabetes to related to the increasing rate of obesity
asthma. To contact the Bayview Child among children and teens in the United
Health Center, call 415-600-2460. States, Theiss notes. Monitoring your Trudy Theiss, M.S.,
“We want to ensure that children get Nadine Burke, M.D., children’s diets to make sure they aren’t R.D., CDE
the specialized care they need so that MPH, pediatrician, taking in too many calories and encour-
they don’t end up in the emergency
room,”notes Dr. Burke, who will staff
aging children to get plenty of exercise are
key to preventing childhood obesity. # “
In today’s diets,
the facility along with other California
sugar, which is
Pacific health care professionals.
The Center will accept all forms of “
We want to
not a nutrient-rich
insurance and help families enroll in var- food, can make
ious city, state and federal medical cover-
up a large part of
age programs.“Children in San Francisco children get the
the daily calorie
are universally insured through programs specialized care
such as Healthy Kids,” Dr. Burke explains. intake.
“Parents often aren’t aware of the
resources available to them. We are
committed to helping families protect
the health of their children.” #
Tips for Staying Healthy
To Learn More To help develop healthy eating patterns in children, Theiss offers
“We Can!” (National Heart, Lung, Be aware of what your children are eating at home and school.
and Blood Institute): Limit consumption of sodas and processed or “fast” foods.
http://wecan.nhlbi.nih.gov Offer healthy choices of foods with low calorie density, and
PC-Turnoff Organization: Children and allow children to decide how much or whether to eat.
www.pcturnoff.org Never force a child to “clean your plate.”
American College of Sports Medicine: Limit fat consumption to about 30 percent of total caloric intake.
get at least
www.acsm.org Avoid being overly restrictive about which foods children eat
60 minutes a day
National Coalition for Promoting — the sense that some foods are “forbidden” may lead to
Physical Activity: www.ncppa.org
unhealthy eating behaviors.
President’s Council on Physical activity. Encourage children to eat foods that are high in water and
Fitness and Sports: www.fitness.gov fiber content, both of which help make them feel full longer.
from the U.S. Try to have relaxed family meals and encourage children to
Department of eat more slowly and recognize when they are full.
the University of Wisconsin–LaCrosse. Agriculture and the
“The key is to create something else Make sure your children get plenty of exercise.
for them to do outside without being Health and Human For more guidance in developing a healthy diet for your children,
overbearing about it or orchestrating the Services Theiss suggests consulting the Web site for the USDA’s food pyra-
play. You may need to band together mid, www.mypyramid.gov, or an authoritative book such as Child
with other parents and organize an after- of Mine, by registered dietitian and social worker Ellyn Satter. “If,
school program to provide a safe venue.
in spite of your best efforts, you notice your child is gaining too
But kids, being kids, are plenty smart
enough to think up fun things to do.”# much weight, be sure to consult your pediatrician,” she adds.
Mending Hearts Is Strength
of California Pacific Team
The Pinto family’s story I by Laura Miyashita
fter having a healthy second pregnancy and Charlie Pinto with
A delivering a beautiful baby boy one year ago,
San Francisco residents Sarah and John Pinto couldn’t
mom Sarah (right)
have been happier.“My delivery was a piece of cake Tede, M.D., nearly
and our son, Charlie, was perfect,” remembers Sarah. one year following
Within hours, though, Charlie’s life was at risk. his heart surgery.
“Charlie was in the Well-Baby Nursery
when we were informed that he looked the most minimally invasive procedures
blue,” Sarah remembers. “They took him possible,”notes Dr. Black.
to the NICU for tests, where doctors During Charlie’s surgery, Dr. Black used
determined he had a closed valve in his exceptionally small incisions and micro-
heart. Charlie was given a drug called scopic cameras to magnify and illuminate
prostaglandin to keep open a communi- the area surrounding Charlie’s heart. Then,
cation between his pulmonary artery and Dr. Black used Charlie’s own tissue to
aorta. Without that drug, no blood could create a new valve. Because of Charlie’s
get into the lungs, and the oxygen young age, a portion of his initial defect
level in his circulatory system was left to promote growth. After his heart
could not sustain life. INFANTS developed further, Dr. Black used the same
California Pacific Medical incisions nine months later to completely
Center Pediatric Cardiologist Nikola close the hole in Charlie’s heart, leaving
Tede, M.D. was one of the physicians him with normal circulation.
who immediately attended to Charlie in
the NICU.“Charlie had a murmur that Minimally invasive surgery
sounded louder than the normal transi- used for heart repairs
tional murmur of a newborn,”recalls Dr. “Every child’s condition is different,”
Michael Black, M.D.,
Tede.“After performing an echocardio- Dr. Black continues.“Because we have
For more information chief, Division of
gram [cardiac ultrasound], we quickly such a highly skilled cardiac team, as
confirmed Charlie had pulmonary atresia well as the most leading-edge technolo- Surgery
California Pacific Medical with an intact septum.” gies available, we are able to think cre-
Center is a regional leader
in pediatric cardiovascular Heart disease prevalent in newborns
atively to develop unique strategies that
exceed treatment expectations.” “
care. To find out more “Most people don’t realize how Charlie’s parents are extremely
prevalent heart disease is in newborns,” happy with the care Charlie received at have such a
about our pediatric ser-
vices, visit our Web site at
Dr. Tede continues.“Up to 1 percent of California Pacific.“We never thought of highly skilled
all babies will have some form of con- our situation as a tragedy,”says John. cardiac team,
www.cpmc.org/pediatrics genital heart defect, and most of these “Drs. Tede and Black were very positive
or call our Specialty we are able to
problems become apparent very shortly about our options and were so willing
Referral Line at after birth.” to talk to us at length.”Sarah agrees, think creatively.
Shortly after his diagnosis, two-day- “There’s always hope, and the medical
old Charlie Pinto underwent surgery advancements now are amazing.”Even ”
with Michael Black, M.D., chief of better, though, is Charlie’s recovery. Now
California Pacific’s Division of Pediatric 1 year old, Charlie is a charming little boy
Heart Surgery.“A newborn baby’s heart who is developing well and keeping his
is so incredibly tiny that we have to use parents busy chasing after him! #
Healthy Family Recipes
Good habits begin early I An interview with Sharon Meyer, CNC
etting children to eat a healthy diet with a
G good balance of nutrients isn’t always easy.
There is hope, however, for every parent who has
had to contend with a picky eater who refuses
to touch those “icky”green beans.
“Introducing children to a wide vari- Involving your kids
ety of foods at an early age helps develop in cooking enables
healthy eating habits that will continue you to educate your
through the years,”says Sharon Meyer, children as to where
CNC, a certified nutritionist at California
various foods come
Pacific Medical Center’s Institute for
Health & Healing. “One way to do that
is to involve your kids in cooking. They
from and what con-
stitutes a healthy
children to a wide will be proud of the dishes they create meal.
variety of foods and excited to eat them. It also enables
you to educate your children as to where
at an early age various foods come from and what con-
helps develop stitutes a healthy meal.”
healthy eating For children, a healthy diet encom-
habits that will passes more than just three meals a day.
“It’s better for children to eat smaller
continue through meals, with healthy snacks between in addition to dairy sources of calcium.
the years. meals,” Meyer says. Meyer offers the following snack
Children also require plenty of cal- ideas and a recipe to help ensure a
Sharon Meyer, CNC,
cium, but it doesn’t have to come from
milk. “Studies have shown that absorp-
certified nutritionist, tion of the calcium in cow’s milk is Snack ideas:
California Pacific inferior to that of calcium from plant Trail mix: pecans, walnuts, almonds,
Medical Center sources,” Meyer notes. She recommends cashews, soy nuts, raisins, dried cran-
Institute for Health leafy green vegetables, cooked beans berries. Note: Avoid giving nuts and
and peas, nuts, seeds and whole grains, raisins to toddlers under 2, and supervise
older toddlers when they eat these foods,
as they can present a choking hazard.
Tuna or Salmon Salad Wraps Plain yogurt with 1 teaspoon honey
and fresh or thawed frozen fruit (if
1 can tuna or salmon not lactose intolerant). Note: Do not
/4 cup minced green onions give honey to children under age 1.
1 celery stalk, chopped String cheese
1 tsp. lemon juice Hummus with carrots, steamed broc-
coli, red peppers or jicama
1 tbsp. olive oil
Sweet potato chips:
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley — Slice sweet potatoes thinly.
/4 tbsp. Dijon mustard — Lay on a baking sheet; sprinkle To Learn More
salt and pepper with olive oil, salt and pepper.
2 whole-wheat tortillas — Bake at 375 degrees until crisp. Visit www.cpmc.org/
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Spoon the mixture onto the tortillas — Serve plain or with hummus or pediatrics for more
and wrap. guacamole. nutritious recipes.