Long Branch, N.J— As the waist lines of America’s youth grow, so does the concern over the number of children and adolescents who are considered obese. Recent studies show that 10 to 15 percent of all 6- to 17-year-olds are obese.
Malcolm S. Schwartz, D.O., a board certified osteopathic pediatric endocrinologist and chief of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, N.J., addressed the American Osteopathic Association Convention and Scientific Seminar in San Diego on Oct. 1, and explained how parents schools and communities can help children stay fit.
“Even during pregnancy a mother can help her child by watching her weight and maintaining a moderate exercise level,” said Dr. Schwartz. Dr. Schwartz also recommends that families eat meals together at a fixed time and place and not to eat in front of the television.
This is not to say that influences outside the family cannot help curb childhood obesity. Dr. Schwartz believes that schools can help by educating children on appropriate diet and lifestyle choices, eliminating cookie and candy sales as fundraisers and installing more water fountains.
Dr. Schwartz also calls for mandating minimum standards for physical education in schools and encouraging schools to review the contents of vending machines for healthier choices.
“The need to end childhood obesity is becoming more urgent as the onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus is occurring at younger ages than ever before,” Dr. Schwartz said. “Type 2 diabetes, which was typically diagnosed in patients over the age of 40, has now been found more commonly in children and adolescents. About 90 percent of patients who develop type 2 diabetes are obese.”
At The Center for Disorders of Insulin and Metabolism, Dr. Schwartz and fellow pediatric endocrinologists Frank P. Barrows, D.O., and Kirk Kerensky, M.D., manage the pediatric obesity program at The Women’s & Children’s Specialty Center, Lakewood, and The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch. The program provides a blame-free, supportive environment to help obese children and their families adopt healthier lifestyles. For more information, please call (732) 923-6085.
About The Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center
As a regional leader dedicated to children’s health, The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center offers the highest level of pediatric care for newborns to adolescents, including leading edge treatments and specialized expertise. More than 130 pediatricians are affiliated with the Monmouth Medical Center’s pediatric attending staff and more than half are subspecialty trained. The Children’s Hospital has extensive subspecialty outpatient services for children with chronic illnesses, a Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU), part of Monmouth's state-designated regional perinatal center, a Cystic Fibrosis Center and a Ronald McDonald House. For a referral to a pediatrician or specialist, please call 1-888-724-7123.
CONTACT: Beth Salamon
(973) 322-4926, firstname.lastname@example.org
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