RANT: Obese Kids

I get especially sad when I see pediatric patients, less than 10 years old, usually with Doritos bag or a Pepsi in hand, who are already obese.  What kind of future looms?  Likely Diabetes, because the body can only tolerate so much abuse before disease culminates. These patients are sure to develop depression, not only because the ability to move freely as a child is limited by their mass, but also because kids can be cruel. And relentless teasing will ensue.
 Obese children aren’t occasionally allowed to eat poor-quality, high-fat, junk foods that make them obese; it’s the only food being offered!  I don’t know any 9 year olds who do the grocery shopping. Out of convenience, ignorance and perceived necessity, parents frequent fast food chains and super-size their kids’ health problems.  This, in my opinion, is child abuse.
It’s tough. In parents’ defense, many do not know their child’s diet directly affects his/her health. Most parents don’t believe the sequelae of their grocery selections can be childhood diseases.  I see parents negotiate with sweets all the time  “If you’re good, we’ll get ice cream”.  (How ’bout “if you’re bad, you’ll get no dessert for a week”–negative reinforcement vs bribery) Sweets are no longer treats. Kids get sweets several times a day.  This creates little sugar addicts, childhood obesity, diabetes, depression, mood disorders, the list goes on.
So Parents, be strong! If your child whines when he/she doesn’t get the sweet that they want, remember to care enough to say “No”. And mean it.

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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

2 thoughts on “RANT: Obese Kids

  1. It is SUCH an uphill battle because people want to hand my child sugar everywhere he goes. I had to fight a battle to stop his middle school from using soda as a reward! Yikes!

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