Nutritional Counseling is Key Parental Resource Stemming the Tide Against the Epidemic of Childhood Obesity
Stemming the Tide Against the Epidemic of Childhood Obesity
Despite this, more than 17 percent of children between two and 19 are overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Nutritionists can work with parents to ensure that their over- and underweight children reach and maintain a healthy weight.
(Image of a healthy salad - Haap Media, Inc., - All Rights Reserved)
Parents of overweight children should not put their children on diets. "Singling out overweight children will only discourage them and make them feel stigmatized, punished, and deprived," Twitter says. "Rather, it is important to establish healthy eating habits and regular exercise as a lifestyle for everyone."
Children have different nutritional needs than adults. Toddlers need approximately 37-41 calories per pound of body weight; their needs vary significantly over time, based on growth and physical activity. By adulthood, average needs are 14-16 calories per pound, depending on activity level.
"Children need a higher percentage of calories to come from fat until they are two years old," Lori continues. "We know that the risk for heart disease begins in early childhood, so after the age of two, recommendations are for fat intake to decrease to about 30% of total calories, unless a child is not gaining weight well.
Children growing well can be transitioned from whole milk or breast milk to non-fat or 1% fat milk. Children who are underweight should continue to have whole milk and have other heart-healthy fats such as canola oil or olive oil added to foods to increase caloric intake."
Protein needs in young children are not particularly high - .50g/lb age one and .43g/lb by age 4. "If kids are meeting their needs for other nutrients, especially iron and calcium, they are meeting their protein needs, as foods high in these two nutrients are high in protein - any type of dark meat or fish is a great source of iron (e.g., beef, dark meat of chicken, pork, tuna, salmon), and dairy products and many soy products are excellent sources of calcium."
Calories from carbohydrates should be derived mostly from whole grains, not processed grain (most notably bread and pasta), and fruits and vegetables. Lori does caution against giving children under two years of age or who are not growing well a very high-fiber diet without adequate fat, as lots of high-fiber, low-calorie foods can fill young children without giving them adequate calories.
Increasing physical activity is just as critical as instilling good eating habits. "Families should become more active together," Lori stresses. "Active parents help children be more physically healthy by modeling positive behaviors. Turn off the TV and computer, and play outside!"
Parents can consult with Lori Brizee by emailing her at: firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (541) 788-2625.
About Lori Brizee
Lori's 25 years of experience spans working with premature infants in a neonatal intensive care unit to children and adults with special diet needs to weight managment.
She received her Bachelor's degree in Dietetics from University of California at Davis and her Master's degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Washington, where she focused on nutrition for children with chronic conditions. She has worked as a Women Infants and Children's (WIC) nutritionist, a nutrition consultant for Washinton State Services for Children with Special Healthcare needs, and as a clinical nutritionist at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle for 20 years.
She was also part of the Children's Hospital lactation consultation team.
Since 2006, Lori has had a private practice in nutrition consultation, working with clients of all ages. She enjoys providing clinical nutrition consulting and weight management as well as teaching adults and children techniques for healthy and delicious cooking.
Lori is married and has two college age children. She lives in Bend, is an avid swimmer, hiker and skier, and loves to read and play the piano.
Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition
Nutrition Services for Infants, Chidren , Adolescents and Adults
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