The American Academy of Pediatrics wants to turn children's doctors into activity police, encouraging them to routinely monitor how active patients and even their parents are each day to help conquer obesity.
The policy says pediatricians should ask patients and parents at regular office visits how active they are. They also should document how much time patients spend each day on sedentary activities and urge them to follow AAP guidelines recommending no TV for children under age 2 and no more than two hours daily of TV, video games and other "screen time" for older children.
[Washington Post, 01 May 2006]
US Pediatricians want a tougher approach this time to curb the increasing abdominal girths of children. After all, even the World Health Organization (WHO) finds that more and more kids are growing obese lately.
I think it is also time to change the parents' mindset about how a cute baby should look like. Here in the Philippines, the fatter a baby is, the "cuter" that baby is. Hence, they try to feed these "cute babies" more frequently, and with more and more food. The fatter their babies become, the happier they are. Most parents here have this kind of thinking....which, I think, is a bit erroneous.
Years ago, a Japanese study found that approximately 32 percent of the obese boys and 41 percent of the obese girls grow into obese adults. The same study also concluded that childhood obesity may be a predictive factor of adult obesity.
This new role of pediatricians as "activity police" is a good idea. Somebody has to watch over and police the feeding and activity habits of both parents and their children.