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Childhood Obesity Leads to Weighty Health Issues

St. Rose Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine Center Offers Tips for a Healthy Halloween

Halloween can be a particularly scary time for parents who want to help children lose or maintain their weight. The St. Rose Dominican Hospitals Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine Centers, National Healing Wound Healing Centers, offers these tips:

  • Be sure children eat dinner before trick or treating to minimize late night snacking.
  • Break up the candy they receive into smaller amounts to be enjoyed over a period of time.
  • Mix candy corn and M&M’s into a healthy trail mix that offers more nutrition and less candy per serving.
  • Search the Internet and family magazines for healthy treats. Deviled eggs can easily become monster eyes and Halloween cookie cutters turn sandwiches and cheese slices into frighteningly fun food.
  • Give out stickers, sugar free gum, pretzels or low calorie snack packs, party favors or other treats so you don’t risk having left over candy in the house.
  • Shift the focus away from food by carving a pumpkin, making costumes or taking in a local autumn fair.
  • Physical activity is an important part of weight loss. Take a walk with your children to find fall leaves, go horseback riding like the Headless Horseman or take a bike ride through the neighborhood to choose the house you would want to haunt if you were a ghost.
  • It is important not to use food as a reward or punishment so let children enjoy Halloween but help them make healthy choices that won’t haunt them for years to come.

In the past two decades, the number of our nation’s children who are overweight has doubled according to records kept by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). That’s hardly surprising given that adolescents spend more time in front of computer monitors, television and video screens than ever before.

While overweight children often face teasing, the emotional toll can be accompanied by physical illness such as sleep apnea, which disrupts sleep, asthma, liver disease and orthopedic problems.

“In addition to health issues they experience as children, extra weight can also lead to conditions they will need to manage for the rest of their life,” said Katherine J. Rowland, chief clinical officer for National Healing Corporation, which partners with hospitals around the nation to treat chronic wounds often related to the affects of diabetes and vascular disease. “Many obese children have high cholesterol and blood pressure levels. There has even been an alarming increase of children with type 2 diabetes, which is usually classified as adult on-set diabetes.”

In a call to action to prevent childhood obesity, the Office of the Surgeon General noted that overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.

The report suggested parents concerned with their children’s weight should consult their doctors and other healthcare professionals who can help rule out rare medical problems which might cause unhealthy weight and assess if a child’s weight is unhealthy.

When helping children lose pounds, most experts agree that parents should concentrate on small changes that can gradually become lifetime habits.  As a leader in wound healing and disease management, St. Rose Dominican Hospitals’ Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine Centers are located at the Rose de Lima (702.616.4870) and San Martín (702.492.8281) Campuses.

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