Magnolia Minute – Childhood Obesity

September 10, 2020 9:58 am Published by

By: Henry Dodd, MD, Pediatrician at Magnolia Pediatric Clinic

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Chinese proverb from Dao De Jing

When it comes to our health, we are all on a journey. Each step can bring us closer to or further away from our goals. For our children, they are not on this journey alone. In fact, we carry our children until they are able to start taking tiny steps on their own. Even when they start walking, we are there to hold their hand and teach them how to walk. For our children to be as healthy as possible, we need to provide guidance and model good habits.

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. The fact that nearly 1 out of 5 children are considered overweight or obese is worrisome especially since this makes them four times more likely to be obese as an adult. Much like that thousand mile journey, small missteps today can have a big impact on reaching our desired health as adults. Many of you will hear me say in clinic, “until our kids are doing the grocery shopping, their success or failure regarding food choices is our responsibility.”

While much has been written on the topic, the simplest advice is often the best. If you can remember the numbers 5-2-1-0-10, then you can help your children reach their health goals.

5 – Consume at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily

2 – Limit non-academic screen time to no more than 2 hours per day

1 – Achieve 1 hour of physical activity daily

0 – Consume 0 sugar-sweetened beverages

10 – Get at least 10 hours of quality sleep

Whether you decide to make all these changes at once, or pick one and slowly add them to your routine, consistency is critical, especially in households where children may split time between parents, grandparents, or other family.  Please consider making Magnolia Pediatrics a part of your child’s journey to good health by staying active, making smart food choices, and coming in for routine well checks. For more information, please call Magnolia Pediatric Clinic at (662) 293-7390.

Dr. Henry Dodd

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This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center

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