I am a Boston Childrens Health physician. I have been providing pediatric family medicine, primary care, and adolescent medicine to young people for the past 15 years. I work with families on a daily basis, and am always on the lookout for educational programs and resources that will help families with children. I have taken part in every type of program in the past several years, which will be my “next” year of pediatric practice.
I also do research on all sorts of topics. I have a particular interest in the prevention of child abuse and neglect and the prevention of pediatric obesity. I have taken part in some of the largest medical research studies in the country that have been conducted on the topic of pediatric obesity. I have served on a number of committees throughout my entire career.
I have been doing pediatric medicine since I was in the fifth grade. When I was in the fourth grade, one of my teachers said, “If you were going to be a doctor, you would have started right after you were in first grade.” I agree with that, and I think that’s why I love pediatric medicine and why I want to be an active participant in the pediatric community.
The biggest health care issue in the US is pediatric obesity, which is not only a terrible problem, but also a terrible problem as our kids get older. The problem has been on the rise in the US since the 1970s, when the first children’s obesity drugs were introduced. The drugs were very effective and helped a lot of people to lose weight, but they didn’t put weight on, so there was a long period of time when they didn’t work as well as they should.
Back in the early 1990s, weight loss was a major focus of pediatric physicians. As people grew up and got older, the focus shifted to keeping people healthy. Weight and obesity is a medical condition that can be treated by a variety of methods, but there is one common denominator. The medical profession realized that most kids get sick when they are overweight, so the need for a healthy diet to prevent and treat obesity is a good idea.
In contrast, in the late 1990s there was an unexpected growth in the percentage of people who were obese. The obesity epidemic was triggered by the fact that the average American population had more than doubled in the preceding two decades. That’s not to say that people with obesity grew in number. But in addition to that, there was an increase in the number of people who were obese, so there was a spike in those who were overweight.
The problem is that, at least in the U.S., the average American is generally not eating the kind of healthy food that is recommended. We’re eating more fast food and processed foods, which tend to be loaded with salt and fat, and less healthy, whole food choices. So despite the increase in the number of people who are obese, we are still eating more than the average person.
When you have a population of people who are eating healthy foods and are exercising regularly, you are more likely to eat healthy foods and exercise. But even healthy food does not mean you are healthy. Your BMI is just one of the many factors that can affect your health.
So when I say that I’m not convinced that healthy eating is the problem, I’m not saying that you should eat less and exercise more. I’m saying that there are many factors that contribute to your health, and many factors that are beyond your control, that you can influence to improve your overall health. By just changing one factor, the odds of you becoming unhealthy is reduced. You can think about that as a “one vitamin” approach.
I know that I have to start with my BMI because I am overweight. When I eat too much, my metabolism slows down. Not only that, but I tend to have a hard time losing weight. So to improve my overall health, I need to eat less, exercise more, and manage my weight. Bored with the gym, I’ve decided to join a childrens health physician group that offers a free weight loss and fitness program. I’m not the only one.