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January 29, 2013

Doctors Now Seeing: Kids Facing Adult Disease

by Hansa Bhargava, MD

When I went to medical school and trained as a pediatrician, type 2 diabetes was rarely seen in kids. Now, sadly, it has become much more common because more children are obese. Today, for the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics put out guidelines on how to treat type 2 diabetes in kids.

It is a reality. In my office, I see overweight and obese kids getting older people’s diseases much more often. I have seen an 8-year-old boy with a hip fracture. I have seen an overweight 13-year-old with high blood pressure. Diabetes, hip fractures, liver disease, heart problems, and high blood pressure — our kids are getting sicker from being obese.

As serious as this sounds, the good news is that most of these conditions can get better with some simple changes. Moving more and eating right can make a difference. Here are five ways to get started:

1.         Eat breakfast. This can ward off overeating later.

2.         Eat veggies/fruits. Lots of nutrition with fewer calories.

3.         Turn off that TV. Most of us tend to do mindless munching and eat way more than we intended.

4.         Move with your kids. If you do it, they will do it! Plan a family ‘move’ activity for a Saturday.

5.         Get enough sleep. This will give you energy to move, and you will eat better, too.

How do you make sure your family eats right? Do you exercise regularly?

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