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Nutrition in Toddlers - Article
ABSTRACT: Toddlers make a transition from dependent milk-fed infancy to independent feeding and a typical omnivorous diet. This stage is an important time for physicians to monitor growth using growth charts and body mass index and to make recommendations for healthy eating. Fat and cholesterol restriction should be avoided in children younger than two years. After two years of age, fat should account for 30 percent of total daily calories, with an emphasis on polyunsaturated fats. Toddlers should consume milk or other dairy products two or three times daily, and sweetened beverages should be limited to 4 to 6 ounces of 100 percent juice daily. Vitamin D, calcium, and iron should be supplemented in select toddlers, but the routine use of multivitamins is unnecessary. Food from two of the four food groups should be offered for snacks, and meals should be made up of three of the four groups. Parental modeling is important in developing good dietary habits. No evidence exists that early childhood obesity leads to adult obesity, but physicians should monitor body mass index and make recommendations for healthy eating. The fear of obesity must be carefully balanced with the potential for undernutrition in toddlers.
ABSTRACT: Although type 1 diabetes historically has been more common in patients eight to 19 years of age, type 2 diabetes is emerging as an important disease in this group. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 8 to 45 percent of new childhood diabetes. This article is an update from the National Diabetes Education Program on the management of type 2 diabetes in youth. High-risk youths older than 10 years have a body mass index greater than the 85th percentile for age and sex plus two additional risk factors (i.e., family history, high-risk ethnicity, acanthosis nigricans, polycystic ovary syndrome, hypertension, or dyslipidemia). Reducing overweight and impaired glucose tolerance with increased physical activity and healthier eating habits may help prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes in high-risk youths. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend population-based screening of high-risk youths; however, physicians should closely monitor these patients because early diagnosis may be beneficial. The American Diabetes Association recommends screening high-risk youths every two years with a fasting plasma glucose test. Patients diagnosed with diabetes should receive self-management education, behavior interventions to promote healthy eating and physical activity, appropriate therapy for hyperglycemia (usually metformin and insulin), and treatment of comorbidities.
ABSTRACT: Childhood obesity is an increasingly serious problem; 13.9 percent of children two to five years of age, 18.8 percent of children six to 11 years of age, and 17.4 percent of adolescents 12 to 19 years of age in America are obese. Practical strategies that primary care physicians can use to tackle the problem are scarce. The American Medical Association recently convened an expert panel to address this need. Evidence about how best to manage and prevent obesity was reviewed and incorporated into a series of reports. The Expert Committee on the Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity recommends addressing the issue of weight with all children at least once a year. Family physicians are urged to assess key dietary habits (e.g., consumption of sweetened beverages), physical activity habits, readiness to change lifestyle habits, and family history of obesity and obesity-related illnesses. Laboratory testing recommendations depend on the degree of obesity and associated illnesses. For children with a body mass index between the 85th and 94th percentiles but who have no obesity-related illnesses, a fasting lipid profile should be done. Those with the same body mass index and obesity-related illnesses should also have tests for alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, and fasting blood glucose levels. Measurement of blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels should be added in children with a body mass index above the 95th percentile. A four-stage approach to treatment of childhood obesity is recommended. Many of these recommendations can be carried out by family physicians for treatment and prevention. These include advising families to limit consumption of sweetened beverages and fast food, limit screen time, engage in physical activity for at least 60 minutes per day, and encourage family meals on most, and preferably all, days of the week.
Family Physicians and the Childhood Obesity Epidemic - Editorials
ABSTRACT: Family physicians commonly care for patients with serious mental illness. Patients with psychotic and bipolar disorders have more comorbid medical conditions and higher mortality rates than patients without serious mental illness. Many medications prescribed for serious mental illness have significant metabolic and cardiovascular adverse effects. Patients treated with second-generation antipsychotics should receive preventive counseling and treatment for obesity, hyperglycemia, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia. First- and second-generation antipsychotics have been associated with QT prolongation. Many common medications can interact with antipsychotics, increasing the risk of cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death. Drug interactions can also lead to increased adverse effects, increased or decreased drug levels, toxicity, or treatment failure. Physicians should carefully consider the risks and benefits of second-generation antipsychotic medications, and patient care should be coordinated between primary care physicians and mental health professionals to prevent serious adverse effects.
ABSTRACT: Obesity continues to be a growing public health problem. According to the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 17 percent of persons two to 19 years of age are overweight. The number of obese children and adolescents has tripled in the past 20 years. Obesity in adults is associated with cardiovascular risk factors including hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes. The growing prevalence of overweight in children and adolescents is paralleled by the growth of its associated complications in that population: hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and metabolic syndrome. A modification of the metabolic syndrome criteria designed for children and adolescents shows that as many as 50 percent of those who are severely overweight have the syndrome. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has not found sufficient evidence to support screening children for obesity or other cardiovascular risk factors. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association have adopted a more aggressive stance, based largely on consensus opinion. Current suggestions include focusing on children whose body mass indexes exceed the 85th percentile; who are rapidly gaining weight; who have a family history of type 2 diabetes or hypercholesterolemia; or who have hypertension or signs of insulin resistance. Physician advocacy for healthy communities and institutions that foster physical activity, good eating habits, and healthy lifestyles is also encouraged.
Primary Care's Ecologic Impact on Obesity - Graham Center Policy One-Pagers
ABSTRACT: With a costly obesity epidemic, policy makers must recognize factors that may influence obesity not only for each person, but also across communities. Increased primary care physician density on the county level is associated with decreased obesity rates. As we move to restructure the primary care workforce and engage our patients and communities in behavior change, the implications of this association merit closer investigation.
ABSTRACT: Dieting behaviors and nutrition can have an enormous impact on the gynecologic health of adolescents. Teenaged patients with anorexia nervosa can have hypothalamic suppression and amenorrhea. In addition, these adolescents are at high risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Unfortunately, data suggest that estrogen replacement, even in combination with nutritional supplementation, does not appear to correct the loss of bone density in these patients. Approximately one half of adolescents with bulimia nervosa also have hypothalamic dysfunction and oligomenorrhea or irregular menses. Generally, these abnormalities do not impact bone density and can be regulated with interval dosing of progesterone or regular use of oral contraceptives. In contrast, the obese adolescent with menstrual irregularity frequently has anovulation and hyperandrogenism, commonly referred to as polycystic ovary syndrome. Insulin resistance is thought to play a role in the pathophysiology of this condition. While current management usually involves oral contraceptives, future treatment may include insulin-lowering medications, such as metformin, to improve symptoms. Because all of these patients are potentially sexually active, discussion about contraception is important.
ABSTRACT: More than 60 percent of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, and obese persons are more likely to be ill than those who are not. Obesity presents challenges to physicians and patients and also has a negative impact on health status. Some patients who are obese may delay medical care because of concerns about disparagement by physicians and health care staff, or fear of being weighed. Simple accommodations, such as providing large-sized examination gowns and armless chairs, as well as weighing patients in a private area, may make the medical setting more accessible and more comfortable for obese patients. Extremely obese patients often have special health needs, such as lower extremity edema or respiratory insufficiency that require targeted evaluation and treatment. Although physical examination may be more difficult in obese patients, their disproportionate risk for some illnesses that are amenable to early detection increases the priority for preventive evaluations. Physicians can encourage improvements in healthy behaviors, regardless of the patient's desire for, or success with, weight loss treatment.