Doctor discusses childhood obesity

- Dr. Mila D'Cunha of Highland Family Medicine discussed problems associated with childhood obesity and some tips for parents to keep their kids on the right track Thursday on News 8 at Sunrise.

Dr. D'Cunha defined obesity as an excess of body fat.  It is caused by an imbalance of calories, meaning that we are not physically burning off the energy that we consume and this energy is then stored as fat.

One third of our children and adolescents are either overweight or obese.  In the last 30 years, obesity rates have more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents.  Obesity has short and long term effects.  In the short term, obesity can increase a child's risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and pre-diabetes.

Obese children often become obese adults and are at even higher risk of developing morbid and mortal medical conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.

Dr. D'Cunha said parents can help prevent childhood obesity by opting to breastfeed their babies and encourage exercise and proper diet, especially with school lunches.

Use the following for more information:
Obesity CDC, click here
Let's Move initiative, click here
Making a healthy plate, click here

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