KD: Will pediatrician help make a diet for a child who is overweight? What might a diet typically look like? What kind of advice do you give to parents of children who come in whose kids are overweight? Do you talk about this in front of the child or just with the parent?
Dr. Berchelmann: Your pediatrician will get you started with a weight loss program. They usually recommend a few simple, long-term changes you can make to get started, like cutting out sugary drinks, switching to skim milk, and avoiding restaurant food. Depending on the situation, your pediatrician may refer you to a specific weight management program for children. Some overweight children also have medical complications, such as high blood pressure, or psychological needs. They may need a comprehensive weight management program that addresses all these issues. St. Louis Children’s Hospital has a weight management program called, “Head to Toe.”
Aisha Sultan: This is a great question, and there was a story on the front page of yesterday’s Post-Dispatch that talked about the link between excess sugar consumption and heart disease, even for normal weight people. Check it out here.
Compiled by: Ian Price