Obesity is one of the most important medical issues facing our country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. With obesity comes many diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other cardiovascular and orthopaedic conditions.
Doctors now routinely diagnose adolescent patients with type 2 diabetes, a condition that traditionally does not develop in individuals until age 40 and older. Obesity is a true epidemic, rooted in today’s cultural and societal environment, says Diana Lishnevski, M.D., Summa Physicians Inc. – Family Medicine.
Parents play the most important role in making sure children maintain a healthy weight. By teaching proper nutrition and encouraging physical activity at an early age, parents can put their children on the path to a healthy life. Dr. Lishnevski offers parents some advice.
- Make the food choices
- Prepare the meals (no fast food)
- Limit portion sizes
- Emphasize fruits and vegetables
- De-emphasize drinks and snacks that are high in sugar
- Eat meals together
Limit the amount of unhealthy foods you bring into the house. If it’s not in the house, it can’t be eaten.
TV AND ELECTRONICS
Limit the time children spend in front of a television or play an electronic game. Both the American Academy of Family Physicians and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend less than two hours of electronic and television time a day.
Be active as a family. Take bike rides together and make other familyfriendly physical activities a habit.
KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE EATING AND DOING
Dr. Lishnevski suggests parents keep a journal to record how much physical activity their children are doing and what they’re eating. She says it holds the entire family – and the physician – accountable.
Dr. Lishnevski makes this suggestion to her patients.
“We can see what they’ve eaten and how much they’ve moved,” she asserts. “It makes a difference. People often think they eat healthy, then bring the journal in and discover they are not. We can work together to improve choices.”
Dr. Lishnevski stresses that parents are role models for their children. If the kids see their parents eating healthy and exercising, there is a good chance they will follow their example.
Dr. Diana Lishnevski sees patients at 1 Park Center Drive, Suite 304, Wadsworth. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lishnevski, call 888-892-9510 or fill out our online form.