Nutrition And Childhood Obesity 2


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Prepared for community outreach presentations at Community Memorial Healthcenter (South Hill, VA) and Lunenburg County Middle School (Victoria, VA) 2008

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Nutrition And Childhood Obesity 2

  1. 1. Nutrition Therapy in the Prevention and Treatment of Nana Ataa Ofosu-Benefo, MS, RD, CDN, IBCLC Clinical Dietitian / Lactation Consultant Lunenburg County Middle School October 22, 2008
  2. 2. Health Problems for Children and Teens <ul><li>Diabetes </li></ul><ul><li>High Blood Pressure </li></ul><ul><li>High Cholesterol Levels </li></ul><ul><li>Orthopedic Problems </li></ul><ul><li>Asthma / Sleep Apnea </li></ul><ul><li>Decreased Self-Esteem </li></ul>
  3. 4. Why?? More than just food <ul><li>Genetic factors (BUT obesity rates have tripled in the past 30 yrs, while genes have not changed) </li></ul><ul><li>What we are eating </li></ul><ul><li>How active we are </li></ul><ul><li>Changing family structures/dynamics </li></ul>
  4. 5. Changing Times: What are we eating? <ul><li>Fast Food: In the 1950s fast food was eaten once a month, on special occasions, or as a treat. </li></ul><ul><li>Now most children in the U.S. have fast food at least once a week, served in extra large portion sizes, with more calories/bite, higher in refined starch, salt, added sugar, and with no fiber </li></ul>
  5. 6. Changing Times: What are we eating? <ul><li>Soft Drinks: In the 1950s, children drank three cups of milk for every one cup of soda. </li></ul><ul><li>Now that has reversed </li></ul><ul><li>Similar to eating an excess of calorie-dense foods, when a person drinks soda, it may diminish the body’s weight regulation systems </li></ul>
  6. 7. Changing Times: How active are we? <ul><li>Instead of playing outside, or participating in school sports, many children are engaged in long periods of sedentary activities, like watching television, using the computer, or playing video games </li></ul><ul><li>Sedentary children are more likely to eat junk food, not exercise, and will be flooded with television advertisements for unhealthy foods </li></ul>
  7. 8. Changing Times: Family Structure <ul><li>Years ago, families cooked dinner and ate together on a regular basis. </li></ul><ul><li>Now most members of the family unit, including the children, are constantly on the go. </li></ul><ul><li>Three meals (or more) may be taken from a fast food restaurant or a vending machine and eaten on the go, most days of the week. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Food Marketing
  9. 10. How does weight gain happen in children? <ul><li>Eating large portions </li></ul><ul><li>Constant snacking </li></ul><ul><li>Eating fried foods </li></ul><ul><li>Eating junk foods </li></ul><ul><li>Using foods as a reward </li></ul><ul><li>Eating in front of the television / computer </li></ul>
  10. 11. So what can we do? <ul><li>Actively discuss your child’s weight with health care providers (Know your child’s BMI percentile) </li></ul><ul><li>Set a good example for your children by eating well and being active </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusively breastfeed for at least the first 6 months of life </li></ul>
  11. 12. So what can we do? <ul><li>Nutrition therapy for obese children and teens is usually NOT focused on losing weight so much as creating a new nutritional LIFESTYLE. </li></ul><ul><li>A child’s body is still growing, so you want to create healthy habits that allow your child’s body to physically grow into that weight over time. </li></ul>
  12. 13. So what can we do? <ul><li>Managing food intake - lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, water, moderate amounts of lean protein, lean dairy, healthy fats </li></ul><ul><li>Staying away from food & drinks high in calories, fat, or sugar </li></ul><ul><li>Keep portions manageable </li></ul><ul><li>Do not force children to finish a meal if they are not hungry </li></ul><ul><li>Turn dinner time into family time; Plan ahead to prepare meals at home </li></ul>
  13. 14. Community Resources <ul><li>Consult with a Registered Dietitian (RD) for individualized nutrition counseling </li></ul><ul><li>Pediatrician / School Nurse </li></ul><ul><li>School / School Board / PTA / Cafeteria </li></ul><ul><li>Health Ministry </li></ul><ul><li>Local YMCA / after-school programs </li></ul><ul><li>Local Farmers’ Markets / home garden </li></ul><ul><li>Rethink traditional fundraising efforts </li></ul>
  14. 15. Conclusions