Pediatric Obesity Rates in North Carolina are Not Adding Up
According to the State of Childhood Obesity, pediatric obesity rates have declined in North Carolina. But what is being reported state-wide doesn’t correlate with what many pediatric providers are seeing in their offices.
“I am seeing patients every day who are morbidly obese,” said nutritional medicine expert, Laurie Powers, PA-C. “Often, when I look back on their medical history, the obesity problem began when these children were toddlers.”
This startling realization has propelled Mrs. Powers to develop a nutritional clinic at her office at Rainbow Pediatrics in Fayetteville. The goal of the clinic is to help families begin implementing the behavioral changes needed to overcome obesity. But the key is for families to begin sooner than later.
“Once a child is older, it is much harder for them to make lifestyle changes,” Mrs. Powers said.
Nutritional clinics aren’t just for children who are obese, although those are the people most urgently in need of assistance. Mrs. Powers believes in the significance of addressing any parental concerns surrounding food, diet, and exercise at any point in a child’s life. She has discovered that helping parents understand things such as portion sizes and the number of servings of fruits and vegetables a child should get every day will help them teach their kids the correct way to eat for health.
The clinics Mrs. Powers provides include a variety of content to help families succeed. The lessons are customized to the unique needs of the family. Topics may include:
- The importance of eating meals as a family
- The connection between the media and obesity
- Serving sizes and calories needed per age and for each food group
- Sugar-sweetened beverages to include fruit juice
- How to grocery shop to fuel a healthy body and the benefits of cooking at home
- Examples of easy to make, cost-effective, healthy meals and snacks for different ages
- Alternative diet information such as gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian
- Sodium intake
- Eating disorders
Diet and obesity are very sensitive topics. To honor her patients, Mrs. Powers recommends that parents schedule their initial evaluation without their child(ren) present. This allows both Mrs. Powers and the parents to facilitate a candid conversation about weight and food without making kids feel uncomfortable.
If you would like to learn more about the nutritional clinics offered at Rainbow Pediatrics, call or schedule an appointment with Laurie Powers, PA-C today. Most insurances cover the cost of the appointment(s), including the initial appointment for parents.