02 May 2006

Pediatricians as "Activity Police"

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.

3 reactions:

bayibhyap said...

Well, if the parents are not watching over their children's health, it makes sense that the doctors should though the responsibility should be the parents', really.

Japanese being obese? I have always thought that they are generally not obese, except for the sume wrestlers! Their menus appear quite healthy.

ipanema said...

Children spend first 14 years (am I correct?) of their life with their paediatrician for check-up and booster shots. It is but proper for them to monitor their well-being at this stage. Of which they do. But recently they’ve been asked to do more than check their weight, etc. Recently, paediatricians were urged to add fitness check-up. Let me share this special report.

CNN article

lol Bayi, sumos have special diet to fatten themselves.

I am guilty to the flawed mindset that the chubbier they are, they cuter they are perceived to be. I was like that. Until now, I love to see ‘healthy’ bebes. :)

So, with hospitals tasked to add these programme of monitoring obesity in children, parents play a very important role to support their children. What's spread on the dining table is beyond the knowledge and control of the doctors.

beajerry said...

I guess anything being done is better than nothing, but the problem needs large systemic fixes that deal with everything from food marketing to parental misinformation. And it doesn't help that the US dietary pyramid is confusing and created in a quagmire of special interest inputs.