Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
Researchers have found that kids that are overweight are more likely to have vitamin D deficiency than healthy-weight kids. In fact, the more overweight a youngster is, the more likely they are to be deficient in their vitamin D levels. In the study, the percentage of kids who were vitamin D deficient was 21% in healthy-weight, 29% in overweight, 34% in obese, and 49% in severely obese kids.
The rates of vitamin D deficiency were higher in African-American and Latino children. Researchers found in severely obese kids that 27% of whites, 52% of Latinos and 87% of African-American kids were vitamin D deficient. If youngsters are vitamin D deficient they can be treated with high dose oral vitamin D supplements to restore normal levels of the vitamin.
Prevention of vitamin D deficiency is quite easy. First, children should drink milk daily because milk is a good source of both calcium and vitamin D. Some foods that contain vitamin D include fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines), liver and egg yolk. Second, youngsters should spend more time outside soaking up some sunshine which is a significant source of vitamin D and getting some exercise to keep near their ideal body weight. Kids need to spend more time away from the television and computer screens so they can have fun outdoors. Lastly, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children get 400 IU of vitamin D daily through their diet and with vitamin supplements.
David B. Roos, M.D.
Monday, November 12th, 2012
New research has shown that drinking sugared sodas, watching too much TV and spending too much time playing video and computer games increases the obesity risk for children. The study was performed in 3 states including Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky involving 11 schools and 5,300 students. The study looked at the impact of the Healthy, Energetic, Ready, Outstanding, Enthusiastic Schools (HEROES) program implemented by these schools . The goal of this program was to improve the health of students by promoting changes in activity in physical education classes, nutrition and food choices and choices in the home with student’s free time.
The study also showed that the obesity risk was reduced by kids who participated in sports and for those who ate more frequent meals, at least 3 per day. In addition, children in lower socioeconomic schools had a higher risk of being overweight or obese than children in higher socioeconomic schools.
Once again the evidence shows that diet and exercise are 2 big factors affecting health and weight. Family history is another important consideration in the whole epidemic of obesity.
Submitted by David Roos, M.D.
Monday, September 24th, 2012
Bloomberg reports that McDonalds will begin posting calorie information on menu boards in the upcoming weeks. Calorie counts will be listed on menus inside the restaurants and at the drive through windows.
More than 33% of adults and about 17% of children are considered obese in the US, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The decision to post calorie content is thought to help customers make a more healthy dietary choice. – Vona M. Lantz, MSN, CPNP
Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
The risk of hypertension was higher among teenagers making high risk choices. An Australian study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology shows that teen girls using birth control pills and teen boys using alcohol were at higher risk for high blood pressure compared with teens avoiding these behaviors. High salt intake and high body mass index (teenagers who are overweight or obese) were other factors linked to an increased risk of hypertension. Girls taking birth control pills who had higher body mass indices were at even greater risk of developing elevated blood pressure. The concern for these teens in that hypertension may lead to stroke or heart disease as adults.
David Roos, M.D.