I have a fantasy. It goes something like this:
I walk into the grocery store, I have no less than 10 green bags in my cart, and I aim to fill them all. As I usually do, I head to the produce department first, but instead of picking kale OR spinach OR hearts of romaine, I buy them all. I pick up avocados, pomegranates, pears, and berries. Oh, so many berries. And I don’t stop there…
As a mom of two kids and a pediatrician, I always strive to be healthier. And, interestingly, I hear this a lot from the parents of my patients. The other day, I had a mom say, “I’m planning a BIG change — I’m going to lose 20 pounds in 2014.” Although I admire her drive, one issue that can thwart our goals is “BIG.”
After the gifts are unwrapped… After the food has been eaten… The kids have played with their new toys and you’ve caught up with your visiting relatives. You are going on Day 3 of holiday guests, it’s cold, and you’re stuck inside with a bunch of feisty kids. Everyone is getting a little bored and cranky. What are you supposed to do then? It’s tempting to grab a blanket, climb on the couch, and doze off during your kids’ favorite movie. But I wanted to share with you one of the best times we’ve had in recent years at a Christmas gathering at my house.
It’s a holiday gathering. Friends and family get together to celebrate the magic of the season with food, gifts, games, and memories in the making. Then someone gets out a camera and starts snapping away. But invariably, someone says, “Oh no, not me, I look terrible!” and either ducks out or offers to take the pictures. Or, someone sees the final product and declares they look fat. “Can’t we just delete that one?”
As a pediatrician, I am often asked by parents if a child may have ADHD. It’s true that the CDC reports increasing rates of ADHD. But if a child is having trouble focusing, is it always ADHD, or could there be another reason?
I’ve been writing this blog for almost a year now, and as 2013 draws to a close, I’m reflecting back and noting that there has been a ton of media coverage this year on identifying kids that seem unhealthy because they look overweight or have a high BMI. But what really makes a person “unhealthy”? And are we in a position to judge a person’s health based on either what we see with our eyes or superficial numerical data?
This past week, many of my friends and I have been getting really excited about Thanksgiving. Searching for just the right turkey, looking forward to time with family and friends, planning the meals, etc. Oh, the family traditions, the dishes that transport you to your childhood just by the smell and taste! But how do you share that experience while easing back on the creamy canned soup and mayonnaise-loaded American standards?
The FDA is finally taking steps to eliminate artificial trans fats in processed foods. For more than a decade, nutritionists have been warning us about cutting back on trans fats. Eliminating them, according to the FDA, could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease per year. Those are big numbers!
Halloween week, the Internet was all abuzz over the woman who intended to hand out notes instead of candy to kids who looked overweight, suggesting parents limit these kids’ sugar intake. The general consensus was, of course, that she should just turn out her porch light and mind her own business. But I have to wonder: On a larger scale, is awareness about the childhood obesity epidemic opening the door for people to step over the line? Because it is a national crisis, does that automatically make it everybody’s problem — including a neighbor or a stranger?
In the last few years, technology has changed everything. We know it, because if you are reading this blog, chances are you have kids and were around to remember life before social media, texting, selfies, etc. But to kids, they are growing up in the age of Facebook. And how they relate to each other not only is influenced by social media, but takes place on it, too.