Pediatrics in Lone Tree, Colorado & the Fight to End Childhood Obesity

An article published on the CBS News website examines the declining physical fitness of children:

“Researchers analyzed 50 fitness studies that were conducted between 1964 and 2010, and found today’s kids run slower and have less endurance than their past counterparts.

They note kids can be fit in plenty of ways like if they’re flexible gymnasts or strong weightlifters, but the ability to run multiple laps and sustain vigorous exercise is what’s most important for cardiovascular fitness.

The researchers found kids’ cardiovascular fitness declined around the globe by 5 percent every decade since 1975. In a mile run, kids are about a full minute and a half slower than children were 30 years ago.

In the United States alone, kids’ endurance levels fell by an average of 6 percent each decade between 1970 and 2000.

Researchers warn that these generational declines in running fitness suggest today’s children and adolescents may grow into unhealthier adults at risk for heart problems.”

One reason why children are less physically active these days is because many spend their free time indoors playing computer and video games and watching television. Not only are children spending less time outdoors engaged in healthy physical activity, but today’s children also consume excessive amounts of food rich in calories and fat. Physicians who practice pediatrics in Lone Tree, Colorado—like the board-certified pediatricians at Lone Tree Pediatrics—state that this dangerous combination of sedentary lifestyle and excessive caloric intake could lead to childhood obesity.

kids less physically fit than parents were at their age

Children that don’t engage in cardiovascular exercises—like after school games and sports that involve lots of running and jumping—are more likely to develop cardiovascular problems as adults. Physical activity strengthens the heart, keep the arteries and veins clear, strengthens the lungs, reduces blood sugar levels, and burns excess body fat. In addition to health problems, obese children are more likely to be stigmatized or bullied by other children.

Fortunately, physicians who practice general pediatrics in Lone Tree, CO, can treat children who are struggling with weight issues. On the whole, treatment will encompass dietary modifications, increased physical activity, and behavioral and lifestyle changes for the whole family. Dietary changes include substituting foods that have low nutritional value with healthier foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meat.

Pediatricians also advise parents to ensure that their kids’ computer and television time is limited, and that children are spending enough time engaged in physical activities. For children under 7 years who have no other health problems, treatment is focused on weight maintenance rather than weight loss. For children aged 7 years and older, gradual weight loss may be recommended.

(Article Excerpt and Image from Kids less physically fit than parents were at their age; CBS News; November 20, 2013)

About Debra Berry

Dr. Debra Berry is a board-certified pediatrician in Lone Tree, Colorado providing comprehensive pediatric care at Lone Tree Pediatrics. Her primary goal as a physician is to help each of her patients live a healthy life and grow into a happy productive adult.