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The fight against childhood obesity
The story: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recently published clinical guidelines to treat childhood obesity and recommend that pediatricians “provide treatment options early and at the highest intensity available”.
Tell me more about childhood obesity…
Childhood obesity, defined as a body mass index above the 95th percentile for children and adolescents of the same age and gender, is one of the most common chronic pediatric diseases. In recent years, celebrities such as Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Ellen DeGeneres have been actively involved in the childhood obesity initiative. The prevalence of childhood obesity, according to the CDC is 19.7% and affects nearly 14.7 million children and adolescents. The prevalence is highest in Hispanic children (26.2%) compared to non-Hispanic black children (24.8%) and is lowest in non-Hispanic Asian children (9%).
Obesity is a complex disease with socio-economic, physiological, genetic and environmental factors at play and it is important to take all of these factors into consideration when providing prevention and treatment for children with obesity. infant.
So what do the new guidelines say?
New guidelines encourage pediatricians to offer intensive treatment options sooner, and these treatment options include therapy and medication. These evidence-based recommendations emphasize that treating obesity is both safe and effective. Treatment options include motivational interviewing, intensive health behavior and lifestyle therapy, use of medications, and metabolic and bariatric surgery. To learn more about how drugs such as semaglutide are used to treat obese patients, we have a great article for you. here!
But how to prevent childhood obesity?
Here are four tips that the CDC suggests. First, adopt healthy eating habits that consist of a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat and fat-free dairy products. Second, prioritize physical activity and do more activities as a family, like walking with your pet, running errands in the yard, or doing chores together like raking leaves. Third, have consistency sleep routine. Not only does a good night’s rest help prevent obesity, but it also plays a role in preventing type 2 diabetes, injuries, learning problems, and the tendency to be less physically active. And finally, reduce screen time, both to improve sleep quality and reduce weight gain.
Prioritize mental health
In his recent interview with People, Kristen Bell opened up about her role as a celebrity ambassador with Hers, a telehealth company. Kristen Bell has previously been open about her own struggles with anxiety and depression and the importance of seeking care when needed. In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic alone, there has been a 25% increase in the global prevalence of anxiety and depression. In the United States, one in six adults takes antidepressants or another type of psychiatric drug, but there is a stigma around taking medication to manage mental health issues. The actress recalled her mother telling her, “Never be ashamed of taking an antidepressant, because would you be ashamed of someone with diabetes for taking their insulin?” No, your body needs it”. Kristen Bell is one of many celebrities such as Zendaya, Michael Phelps, Selena Gomez, Justin Beiber, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Chris Evans who have been advocates for mental health!
The rise of XBB1.5
Since January 21, 2020, there have been over 101.5 million cases of COVID 19 and over one million deaths from COVID 19 in the United States. Over the past week, there have been 414,720 new cases according to the CDC. You may have heard on the news that with the new year, came a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 called XBB.1.5. This omicron subvariant accounts for 28% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. overall, and last week accounted for 43% of U.S. cases. This variant has a unique advantage due to a mutation in its spike protein which allows it to better evade antibodies and makes it the most transmissible variant. Because it has already been identified in over 25 different countries, it may be more important than ever to do our part to avoid being infected or re-infected.
Choose your chocolates wisely
Jo Brand once said “Everything’s good if it’s chocolate”, but a recent statement in consumer reports suggests otherwise. Twenty-eight well-known brands of dark chocolate, including Trader Joe’s, Hershey, Lindt, Godiva and Dove, were tested, and each contained lead and cadmium. To determine which types of chocolate would pose the most risk when consumed, the California Maximum Allowable Dose (MADL) was used, where levels above 100% would indicate excessive levels of lead and cadmium. Prosecutions were filed against a few of these bands because consumers felt misled about the metal content of the chocolate. Taza and Ghiradelli chocolate have been listed as “safe choices”, but well-known brands like Hersheys (229% MADL cadmium), Hershey (265% MADL lead) and Lindt (166% MADL lead) may expose you to harmful chemicals. Low lead levels can impact children’s health cognitive abilities and high levels can cause brain damage, kidney damage and anemia. High cadmium levels may cause vomiting and diarrhea. To be on the safe side, try to have a balanced diet, be selective about the chocolates you consume and the quantity consumed and try to choose chocolates from brands that may be a safer alternative.
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