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When to Discuss Weight with Your Child

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: Love your child at their current weight while making lifestyle changes in your household.
Air Date: 12/17/19
Duration: 21:30
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Sarah Armstrong, MD, FAAP
Sarah ArmstrongSarah Armstrong, MD, FAAP, is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Community and Family Medicine, and Population Health Sciences at Duke University and the Duke Clinical Research Institute. She co-directs the Duke Center for Childhood Obesity Research and is the Vice Chief for Research for the Division of Primary Care Pediatrics at Duke.  She completed medical school at the University of Virginia, pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and research training through the Academic Pediatric Association’s Research Scholars Program. Dr. Armstrong founded the Duke Children’s Healthy Lifestyles program, a pediatric weight management clinic, and in 2012 founded Bull City Fit, a community-based partnership with Durham Parks and Recreation. Her research includes translational, clinical science, implementation, and mixed methods designs that aim to identify and implement effective treatments for children and teens with obesity. She serves as co-Director for the APA’s Research Scholars Program, as an Executive Committee member for the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Obesity, and as Council Member for the Society for Pediatric Research. She lives in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband, 3 children, 2 dogs and cat.  She is a big fan of the US Women’s Soccer Team and loves to climb up mountains, sleep under the stars, and cook unreasonable amounts of Italian food for family and friends.
When to Discuss Weight with Your Child
Are you concerned about your child’s weight? You don’t want to ruin their self-esteem by bringing something up that may not be a problem, but you also don’t want your child to endure the health risks connected with being overweight or obese.

Processed foods are dense in calories but not necessarily packed with nutrients. Today’s children aren’t as active as those in the previous generation because of technology and cultural lifestyle shifts. Environmental toxins are everywhere and hard to completely avoid.

If you’re concerned about your child’s weight, first look at the big picture. There is some time to think and plan to improve your child’s health. Don’t panic. 

Make a lifestyle change together, getting the entire household on board with exercise and nutritional adjustments. Start slowly with doable changes where the behavior will lead to little successes before selecting the next change to make.

Children facing obesity and are struggling with health problems that could be reversed may be candidates for bariatric surgery. This is not a quick-fix option. Discuss your concerns with your pediatrician.

Listen as Dr. Sarah Armstrong joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss concerns over weight and bariatric surgery.
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