Health 2006

Friday, June 30, 2006

Support Groups for overweight people

It is amazing how much can be achieved when you have support from someone who cares about you and believes in you. Support groups can be found on the Internet, in 'face-to-face' organizations and, of course, do not forget about self support. If you are interested in support groups and patient advocacy organizations, try this web site

American Obesity Association—This group is not-for-profit, but it is made up of several types of sponsors, including professional groups such as the American College of Nutrition as well as health insurance interests, for-profit companies such as drug and biotechnology companies, and weight loss interests such as Jenny Craig, Inc. and Weight Watchers, Inc. The group’s purpose is to change the way obesity is perceived and to end discrimination against obese people, as well as to find more effective strategies for preventing and "curing" obesity. It uses lobbying, advocacy, and education to achieve these goals.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

How to engage kids in regular physical activity?

It is common for America's kids to sit in front of the TV all day with a popcorn in one hand and bottle of soda in another. Why is this child sitting in front of the TV? What keeps him inside? Where are his parents? What do they think about their child's sedentism? Or Do they think about it? Reality is cruel. Children spend more time indoors because there is a lack of 'green space' outside, depending on where do you live. Of course the most affected communities are in low-income neighborhoods. If child is obese, he will stay inside the house mostly because he is afraid of teasing and humiliation from surrounding teens. Usually, parents are working almost 24/7, therefore there is no time to cook or to spend time with their child doing some physical activity or simply walking on the beach. I hope one day we will find solutions to these painful questions and situations.
Current recommendations state that children and adults should strive for at least 30 minutes daily of moderate intensity physical activity (Pate, Pratt et al., 1995). An alternate approach that may be equally beneficial would be to engage in 5- (Blair & Connelly, 1996) to 10-minute (NIH, 1995) bouts of moderate intensity activity throughout the day, for a total accumulation of at least 30 minutes for adolescents and adults and 60 minutes for children (Pangrazi, Corbin, & Welk, 1996). Walking briskly or biking for pleasure or transportation, swimming, engaging in sports and games, participating in physical education, and doing tasks in the home and garden may all contribute to accumulated physical activity.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Exposure to secondhand smoke

I blogged on this issue because secondhand smoke really annoys me. Imagine you are walking down the street and person ahead of you smokes, therefore ashes from the cigarette reside on your clothes and smoke in your lungs...

U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona on June 27 issued a comprehensive
scientific report which concludes that there is no risk-free level of
exposure to secondhand smoke. Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at
home or work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30
percent and lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent. The finding is of major
public health concern due to the fact that nearly half of all nonsmoking
Americans are still regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.

The report, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco
, finds that even brief secondhand smoke exposure can cause
immediate harm. The report says the only way to protect nonsmokers from
the dangerous chemicals in secondhand smoke is to eliminate smoking

Secondhand smoke contains more than 50 cancer-causing chemicals, and is
itself a known human carcinogen. Nonsmokers who are exposed to
secondhand smoke inhale many of the same toxins as smokers. Even brief
exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the
cardiovascular system and increases risk for heart disease and lung
cancer, the report says. In addition, the report notes that because the
bodies of infants and children are still developing, they are especially
vulnerable to the poisons in secondhand smoke.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Physical, Emotional and Social Health Consequences of Obesity in Children

Physical Health
Glucose intolerance
Insulin resistance
Sleep apnea
Menstrual abnormalities
Impaired balance
Type 2 diabetes
Orthopedic problems

Emotional Health
Low self-esteem
Negative body image


Social Health
Negative stereotyping

Monday, June 26, 2006

Childhood Obesity Linked to Depression

While searching for relevant articles about self- esteem and obesity, I found another interesting one about childhood obesity and depression. This article highlights obesity as a complex problem particularly in children and a need for a wide variety of treatment options:
"A new study shows that kids who are substantially overweight throughout much of their childhood and adolescence have a higher incidence of depression than those who aren't. The research, published in the April issue of Pediatrics, studied nearly 1,000 children for a period of eight years to learn whether being obese had any links to psychological problems. "The most significant finding was that chronic obesity is linked to psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents," says Sarah Mustillo, study author and a researcher in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine. Although media attention is often focused on the weight of young girls, surprisingly it was young boys who were at greatest risk for weight-related depression. However, the study also found that chronically obese boys and girls were at risk for "oppositional defiant disorder" a behavior problem typified by combative, hostile or uncooperative behavior toward authority figures. While the study makes a clear association between chronic obesity and psychological problems, what it doesn't do is draw a line of blame from one to the other. According to Mustillo, researchers don't know for sure what comes first the depression or the obesity".
For more information please visit

Weight Control tips from Liudmila:
Parents should engage their children in active sports, e.g. bike riding - this will help control weight and keep child in a good mood.
Count your calories!!! Energy intake must be less than your energy expenditure.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Obesity Plus Low Self-Esteem May Lead to Risky Behavior in Teens

Obese boys and girls have significantly lower self-esteem than their nonobese peers at age 14. The researchers also found that obese adolescents with esteem difficulties are more likely to engage in such risky behaviors as smoking and drinking alcohol. Doctors say effective weight control should focus on lifestyle issues rather than strict diets and calorie counts.
Researchers collected data from over 1,500 white, black, and Hispanic children at age 10 and followed them for four years. Self-esteem was measured using a standard psychological tool, body mass was calculated from height and weight, and tobacco/alcohol use was reported via questionnaire.
The data showed that
self-esteem was not significantly different between obese and nonobese children at 10 years of age. But by age 14, significantly lower self-esteem was observed among obese boys and girls of all races. But the effect of obesity on self-esteem in white and Hispanic girls was significantly greater than it was in black girls. In all of the teens, low self-esteem was associated with feelings of sadness, loneliness, and nervousness. Additionally, the obese children were more likely to use tobacco and alcohol.
The chief investigator says the findings have implications for psychological well-being. "Our findings and [those of] others indicate that early adolescence is a critical time for obese children," says Richard Strauss, MD, director of the Childhood Weight Control Program and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. "Because this is when they're developing their sense of self-worth."
"The focus should be on healthy food choices and eating right rather than strict calorie counts," says Strauss. "Increasing physical activity and watching less television is equally important. Also, this and other research suggest that teen-age girls smoke cigarettes to control their weight. That's why an expert committee has recommended that
smoking cessation be an integral part of childhood obesity treatment."
Psychiatrists say parents who enforce strict diets may actually be contributing to a poor self-image. "Enforcing a strict diet informs children that parents are in charge," says Robert Begtrup, MD, a child psychiatrist and associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. "This denies children a sense of control and reinforces their low self-esteem. It's also probably too soon to panic about obesity in early adolescence. At 14, kids still have a lot of growing to do." Begtrup tells WebMD that allowing adolescents to guide obesity treatment is a good approach.
"Parents should make an appointment with the pediatrician and let their child take charge during the visit. That way, a safe and effective plan of treatment can be developed that the child buys into," says Begtrup, who was not involved in the study "Parents also need to look in the cupboards and make adjustments in order to support their child's efforts."
"Our findings demonstrate an association between
childhood obesity and low self-esteem, but a true causal relationship is only speculative," says Strauss. "Depression, weight gain, and home environment are additional factors in need of study. Investigation in these areas may help identify interventions to improve self-concept."
For more information visit

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Impact of family history...

For children born in the United States in 2000, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives is estimated to be 30 percent for boys and 40 percent for girls, and the lifetime risk for developing type 2 diabetes is even higher among ethnic minority groups at birth and at all ages. Type 2 diabetes is rapidly becoming a disease of children and adolescents. In case reports limited to the 1990s, type 2 diabetes accounted for 8 to 45 percent of all new pediatric cases of diabetes—in contrast with fewer than 4 percent before the 1990s. The obesity epidemic may reduce overall adult life expectancy because it increases lifetime risk for type 2 diabetes and other serious chronic disease conditions, thereby potentially reversing the improved life expectancy trend achieved with the reduction of infectious diseases over the past century. Obesity can also lead to metabolic syndrome, arthritis, cancer, and CVD.
Impact of Family History
Genetics is a factor in excess weight but it is not the explanation for the recent epidemic of obesity. While having obese parents more than doubles a child's risk of being obese, genetic characteristics of human populations have not changed in the last two decades, while the prevalence of obesity has approximately doubled.
High-Risk Populations
There is evidence that certain ethnic minority populations, children in low socioeconomic status families, and children in the country's southern region tend to have higher rates of obesity than the rest of the population. Although it should be noted that is difficult to separate out racial and ethnic influences from socioeconomic factors that increase obesity risk. The current increase is especially evident among African-American, Hispanic and American Indian adolescents. With both sexes combined, up to 24 percent of African-American and Hispanic children are above the 95th percentile. Among boys, the highest prevalence of obesity is observed in Hispanics and among girls, the highest prevalence is observed in African-Americans.
Eating Less vs. Moving More
Based on intake and physical activity data, the increase in the number of obese children is likely the result of a combination of children and youth eating more calories than they are using through daily physical activity. Weight gain results when energy expenditure is consistently exceeded by energy intake over time. Achieving energy balance is important for children so that energy intake is equal to energy expenditure while supporting normal growth and development without promoting excessive weight gain.Therefore both are important components in reversing the obesity trend.
For more information please visit
Weight control tips from Liudmila:
Exercise daily! You would be amaized how walking can help you get rid of unwanted pounds.
Do not drink 'junk' (Coca-Cola).
Smile and be in a good mood no matter what!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


DOHMH Releases Two-Year Report on the Progress of Take Care New York Health Policy
NEW YORK CITY - June 19, 2006 - More New Yorkers are taking steps to live longer and healthier lives, including having a regular doctor, getting life saving colonoscopies, and quitting smoking, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) announced today. Marking the second anniversary of the City’s ambitious Take Care New York (TCNY) health policy, DOHMH issued its annual progress report on the health of the City.
Launched in 2004, Take Care New York outlines 10 key steps all New Yorkers can take to be healthier, focusing on the health issues that cause hundreds of thousands of preventable illnesses and deaths in New York City each year. DOHMH aims to drastically improve health in these areas by 2008.
Since 2002, significant progress has been made:
• 290,000 more New Yorkers have a regular doctor. The number of New Yorkers with a regular health care provider rose significantly between 2002 and 2005, from 4,470,000 to 4,760,000 (75% of the way to the 2008 goal of 4,850,000).
• 13% overall decline in adult smoking rates. The percentage of adult New Yorkers who smoke decreased from 21.6% in 2002 to 18.9% in 2005 (more than 60% of the way to the 2008 goal of 18%). While there has been a large decrease in smokers since 2002, smoking rates among New York City adults leveled off between 2004 and 2005.
• 300 fewer deaths from HIV. The number of New Yorkers who died from HIV/AIDS-related illness decreased from 1,712 in 2002 to 1,412 in 2005 (more than 40% of the way to the 2008 goal of fewer 1,000 HIV deaths).
• 176 fewer deaths from alcohol and drugs. The number of New Yorkers who died from alcohol-attributable causes decreased from 1,551 in 2002 to 1,444 in 2004 (more than 70% of the way to the 2008 goal of 1,400 deaths). Deaths from drug-related causes declined from 905 in 2002 to 836 in 2005 (28% of the way to the 2008 goal of 655).
• 30% increase in colonoscopy screening rates. The percentage of New Yorkers over age 50 who received a colonoscopy screening for colon cancer within the last 10 years increased from 42% in 2003 to 55% in 2005, (65% of the way to the 2008 goal of 60% of New Yorkers age 50 and over).
• Fewer young children newly identified with lead poisoning. Nearly 150 fewer children under age 6 were newly identified with lead poisoning and a lead-based paint violation in 2005 than in 2002 (more than 30% of the way to the 2008 goal of fewer than 260 children).

The report is comprised of data from DOHMH’s 2005 Community Health Survey and preliminary vital statistics data from 2005. For more information on Take Care New York, to order literature, or to become a TCNY partner organization, visit or call 311.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

It's Not Your Fault That You're Overweight

It's certainly not easy being a kid in today's complex culture where children have it tougher than their parents did, health-wise. Not only do they have to negotiate any number of social landmines at school, but overweight and obese children also have challenges, social and otherwise, far beyond those for typical adolescents. Today's overweight kids, of which there are many, more frequently have to deal with the discrimination of their peers and scrutiny from adults.
What we all must understand is that placing - and displacing - blame doesn't lessen a child's suffering, nor does it make a child any healthier. And, we must not simply resign ourselves to believing that genetics are accountable for a child's weight problem and, therefore, do nothing. Rather, we must teach America's kids to navigate through society's overabundance and easy access to junk foods and fast foods, and to make sound choices regarding their nutrition and fitness.
What often gets missed in the discussions surrounding childhood obesity is that healthy living is a family affair. Children whose parents adopt a healthy lifestyle are more likely to lose weight and maintain their weight loss. Accordingly, parents need a plan that's focused on their children's unique needs, tastes and preferences. The ideal program is not about a restrictive diet; it's about lifestyle modifications that instill healthy dietary and physical fitness behaviors that will turn into healthful habits for the rest of their lives. Of course we want kids to be kids and enjoy life, but an overweight or obese child is at risk, and needs help attaining a healthy weight.
For more information about this topic visit

Weight control tips from Liudmila:

Try to eat 4 times per day: breakfast, lunch, dinner and light evening meal (preferably no later than 2-3 hours before sleep time)
Try to eat fruits and vegetables between meals, no candy snacks
Drink plenty of water- it will reduce sense of hunger for some time

Monday, June 19, 2006

Thoughts about children obesity and home made food

Friday evening I saw an interesting scene: young mother was trying to feed her 19 month old baby girl with Big Mac and little cute girl was screaming: “No, no, it is not good.” Obviously, she did not like the taste. This made me think, why a lot of people in the US don’t cook for their children. Some of you might say: “we do not have time, money, knowledge and we are not used to. “ But in fact, it is cheaper and healthier to cook at home rather than eating out. Of course, cooking at home requires some time and knowledge, and even if you do not know how to cook and you are determined to learn, you will succeed sooner or later. Also, cooking is a cultural thing: when you are a child and see your parents cooking it is a greater chance that when you grow up you will cook for your family.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Thank you Kezzie Joseph for very useful tips about V-Blogging !!!!

Health Video

I have more to offer about health. Please scroll down to the Childhood obesity: What parents can do to see another video.

Study: Amateur marathon runners risk heart trouble

Amateur marathon runners who run less than 40 miles per week during training often show signs of cardiac dysfunction after the race and some of these abnormalities may persist for up to a month after they cross the finish line, a study shows.
"Running less than 40 miles per week prior to running a marathon leads to temporary heart muscle weakness and increased pressure in the lung arteries," Dr. Malissa J. Wood told Reuters. "Individuals who consistently ran greater than 45 miles per week showed no such signs of damage after completing the marathon."
The findings are based on a study of 20 amateur athletes who ran the 2003 Boston Marathon and underwent echocardiography (ultrasound imaging of the heart) before, immediately after, and about one month after running the 26-mile race.
The number of people participating in endurance sports has increased in the past decade, Wood, from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and colleagues note in a their study, published in the European Heart Journal.
In the U.S. alone, nearly 480,000 runners completed a marathon in 2001. And while the benefits of moderate exercise on the heart are well established, the effects of more prolonged exertion are less clear. Some studies have suggested that cardiac dysfunction or "cardiac fatigue" occurs during prolonged exercise.
The series of echocardiographs obtained for the 20 amateur marathoners demonstrated "attenuation" of heart function after the race.
There was evidence of abnormalities in both systolic function (the heart's pumping ability) and diastolic function (the heart's ability to relax during beats).
All of the systolic abnormalities normalized fairly quickly, but the diastolic abnormalities persisted for up to one month after the race, indicating an inherent alteration in the heart's ability to relax, the authors note.
Wood and colleagues emphasize that their results do not pertain to elite athletes; "our group consisted of runners who ran on average less than 40 miles a week during training, a level that is most consistent with the 'average' marathon runner."
Their study also does not address whether this transient dysfunction damages the heart or if there are any long-term cardiac consequences.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Keep Your Heart Healthy

Keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight at healthy levels to prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other diseases. High blood pressure and high cholesterol cause heart disease and stroke. People can often improve their blood pressure and cholesterol levels through a combination of more physical activity, eating a healthier diet, and not smoking. When these lifestyle changes don't result in enough improvement, safe and effective medications are available. Being overweight or obese also causes serious problems, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and many cancers (of the colon, breast, uterus, cervix, prostate, ovaries, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, kidney, and liver). But losing even a few pounds and being a little more physically active can significantly reduce these problems. People can lower their risk of diabetes by more than half with modest weight loss and regular exercise.

Source: New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Childhood obesity: What parents can do

Over the past 30 years, the rate of obesity in the United States has more than doubled for preschoolers and adolescents, and it has more than tripled for children ages 6 to 11.
Obese children get a head start on health problems such as diabetes and heart disease, often carrying these problems into an obese adulthood. If this trend continues, obesity may soon top smoking as the nation's most preventable cause of death.
The reasons for a child's obesity are complex. But the most common factors combine too much screen time — including television, computers and video games — with too much junk food. And the best solution is to reduce your entire family's intake of both.

Good for everyone
Don't single out the overweight members of your family for lifestyle changes. Eating healthier foods and getting more exercise is good for everybody. Children tend to mimic their parents, so it pays to be a good role model. If you don't want your children eating french fries, don't eat them yourself. Play basketball with the kids after dinner, or take a family walk. Organize family outings that involve physical activity — such as bike riding, skating or hiking.

Parents have control
Parents are the ones who buy the food, cook the food and decide where food is eaten. Even small changes can make a big difference in your family's overall health.
When buying groceries, choose fruits and vegetables over convenience foods high in sugar and fat. Always have healthy snacks available. And never use food as a reward or punishment.
Limit sweetened beverages, including those containing fruit juice. These drinks provide little nutrition in exchange for their high calories. They also can make your child feel too full to eat healthier foods.
Select recipes and methods of cooking that are lower in fat. For example, bake chicken instead of frying it.
Put colorful food on the table: green and yellow vegetables, fruits of various colors, and brown (whole-grain) breads. Limit white carbohydrates: rice, pasta, bleached bread and sugar (desserts).
Sit down together for family meals. Make it an event — a time to share news and tell stories. Eating in front of the television fosters mindless munching.
Limit your children's recreational screen time to fewer than two hours a day.
During your child's physical exams, ask the doctor to show you the growth curves giving percentiles for height, weight, and body mass index (BMI). These allow you to compare your child with the norms for age and sex.

Don't make it a battle
Parents often must balance on a tightrope between giving too much and too little attention to their child's obesity. Because many overweight children already feel bad about themselves, you should make sure they know you love them unconditionally.
Offer healthy food to your children, but don't force it on them. Avoid fad diets. In many cases, simply maintaining a child's present weight is good enough — providing the opportunity for the child to grow into his or her pounds.

Minorities at higher risk
Although the obesity rate has increased dramatically for all U.S. children, certain ethnic minorities — blacks, Hispanics and American Indians — have been experiencing the highest rates of increase. Nearly 25 percent of children in these ethnic groups are obese by medical standards.
Poverty is another risk factor. Between 1986 and 1998, the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables increased substantially more than did the cost of carbonated drinks, meat, sweets and snacks. So it's literally cheaper to eat unhealthy foods.

Improve school food
To help make ends meet, some schools have installed vending machines selling soft drinks and snacks. The schools typically receive a percentage of the sales from these machines. Parents can request that their local school boards require all food and beverages served or sold at school to meet accepted nutritional standards.
Parents also can advocate for daily physical education (PE) classes for all students. PE classes have been reduced or even eliminated in many schools because of budget constraints. Latchkey children often aren't allowed to play outside their homes until their parents get home, so exercise time at school is even more important.

Worth the time
Many families feel they don't have the time it takes to prepare healthier meals and exercise more. Shopping, cooking, sharing a meal and cleaning up do take longer than zipping into the drive-through lane at a fast-food restaurant.
But the dangers of childhood obesity are real, and they are starting to take a toll. Helping set your kids on the path to a healthy future is one of the most important things you can do for them. Your investment in time will pay big dividends throughout their entire lives.
For more information visit

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


After two years of declines, smoking rates among New York City adults leveled off in 2005, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) reported today. Results from DOHMH’s 2005 Community Health Survey showed that 18.9% of adults in New York City smoke, virtually identical to the rate of 18.4% in 2004. The rate of smoking decreased substantially between 2002 and 2004 (21.6% to 18.4%) following a decade of no progress in the fight against tobacco in New York City.
In 2002, New York City took two pioneering steps to reduce smoking: increased the tobacco tax and effectively eliminated smoking in the workplace, including restaurants and bars. These measures were followed by a dramatic decline in smoking prevalence. Despite aggressive efforts to educate smokers and help them quit, and continued high compliance with the Smoke-Free Air Act, smoking rates did not decline in 2005.
Increasing cigarette prices by raising the tobacco tax is the most effective way to continue making progress. The City does not currently have authority to raise the City tobacco tax and would need approval from New York State to do so. Legislation was introduced in the New York State Assembly in May 2006 that would authorize New York City to adopt a local law to increase the rate of tax on cigarettes. The additional $0.50 increase will continue to reduce cigarette consumption, and decrease long-term health costs associated with smoking-related illness and disease.
Polls have shown that New Yorkers overwhelmingly support raising the tax; about 70% New Yorkers are in favor of it and support cuts across ethnicities, gender, and political parties.
"While most New Yorkers who have ever smoked have already quit, more than a million New Yorkers continue to smoke. It is now more critical than ever that New York State grant New York City the authority to raise the City’s tobacco tax," said DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden. "Taxation is, by far, the single most effective tool against smoking, which is still the leading epidemic of our time. A fifty cent increase in the City’s tobacco tax could prevent nearly 10,000 premature deaths due to smoking in New York City."
Dr. Frieden continued, "Smoking causes heart disease and cancer - the top two killers in New York City - and many other serious health issues. If you smoke, quitting is the most important thing you can do for your health."

For information about New York City’s tobacco control efforts and for other information on quitting smoking, please visit

Monday, June 12, 2006

Did You Know That...

Obese children and adolescents have shown an alarming increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes.

Many obese children have high cholesterol and blood pressure levels, which are risk factors for heart disease.

One of the most severe problems for obese children is sleep apnea (interrupted breathing while sleeping). In some cases this can lead to problems with learning and memory.

Obese children have a high incidence of orthopedic problems, liver disease, and asthma.

Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

This Documentary, directed by Davis Guggenheim, touched every organ and system in my body. It made me think about what might or will happen, to your children and grandchildren if none action is taken. After this movie, it appeard to me that media do not give an appropriate attention to what happening in the world due to global warming. For example, I did not see on the news that lake Chad is almost gone and polar bears are drowning because ice is too thin and can not provide them with a place for rest. Or, maybe, it is just me?
Al Gore is the main charachter in this story, who has spent a lot of hours thinking and fighting against global warming. He appeard to me as a very good speaker, well educated and commited to his goal. I learned a lot of new things during that 1 hour and 40 minutes. Also, I liked his way of presenting material to the public, his jokes, and 'fancy' power point model. I hope we will learn some tricks about powerpoint during this class. For more information about global warming visit

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Obesity in children

Obesity means an excess amount of body fat. No general agreement exists on the definition of obesity in children as it does adults.
Although obesity in children once was rare, it is now one of the most widespread medical problems in the United States and other developed countries. About 15% of adolescents (aged 12-19 years) and children (aged 6-11 years) are obese in the United States according to the American Obesity Association. The numbers are expected to continue increasing. Childhood obesity is one of our greatest health challenges.

Obesity in Children Causes
Children who regularly consume more calories than they use will gain weight. If this is not reversed, the child will become obese over time. Many different factors contribute to this imbalance between calorie intake and consumption.
Genetic factors
Obesity tends to run in families.
A child with an obese parent, brother, or sister is more likely to become obese.
Genetics alone does not cause obesity. Obesity occurs only when a child eats more calories than he or she uses.
Dietary habits
Children’s dietary habits have shifted away from healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to a much greater reliance on fast food, processed snack foods, and sugary drinks.
These foods tend to be high in fat and/or calories and low in many other nutrients.
Some eating patterns that have been associated with this behavior are eating when not hungry and eating while watching TV or doing homework.
Socioeconomic status
Low family incomes and having nonworking parents are associated with greater calorie intake for activity level.
Physical inactivity
The popularity of television, computers, and video games translates into an increasingly sedentary (inactive) lifestyle for many children in the United States.
Children in the United States spend an average of over 3 hours per day watching television. Not only does this use little energy (calories), it also encourages snacking.
Fewer than half of children in the United States have a parent who engages in regular physical exercise.
Only one third of children in the United States have daily physical education at school.
Parents’ busy schedules and fears about safety prevent many children from taking part in after-school sports programs.
Certain medical conditions can cause obesity, but these are very rare. They include hormone or other chemical imbalances and inherited disorders of metabolism.
Certain medications can cause weight gain by altering how the body processes food or stores fat.

When to Seek Medical Care
If you think your child is overweight
If your child has expressed concerns about his or her weight
If your child has problems keeping up with peers in physical fitness or sports

Monday, June 05, 2006

20 Things about me...

Call me!

1. I am a Hunter Student
2. I am DOHMH employee
3. I was born in Vilnius, Lithuania
4. My favorite color is green
5. I have a cousin
6. I like jogging and swimming
7. Dancing is my passion!!!
8. I am friendly
9. I live in Brooklyn
10. I have lots of plants in my apartment
11. I plan to go on vacation this summer
12. But do not know where, yet...
13. I like reading
14. I wear glasses
15. I am a language club volunteer
16. I speak 3 languages:
17. Russian, Lithuanian, Polish
18. I lived in Sweden for 6 month
19. I want to have a dog...
20. ... sometimes in the future...