Childhood Obesity: What We Didn't Tell You

2010-04-12T11:38:00Z Childhood Obesity: What We Didn't Tell YouStephanie Innes Arizona Daily Star

As with many reporting projects, some of the facts we gathered for the special report about childood obesity, which ran in the Star yesterday and today, didn't make it into the final package.

A few of the more interesting pieces of information:

∫Tucson Medical Center's FitKids program began 10 years ago when a pediatrician called the hospital asking whether it had any programs for a 4-year-old who was 40 pounds overweight.

∫Obesity in children is much easier to prevent than it is to treat. Most kids treated for obesity regain the weight they lose in treatment programs within three to five years, studies show.

∫Kelsey Rentchler, who was featured in Sunday's story for losing more than half of her body weight, believes her weight caused numerous physical ailments. When she was heavy she required prescription deodorant and had bad breath, she says. Also, her hair was straight - now it's curly. And she no longer has bad breath or needs prescription deodorant.

∫A free book created by a national non-profit for moms about preventing childhood obesity features a Tucson woman — Andrea Toledo-Leyva. The Alliance for a  Healthier Generation created the book   "Be Well"  in conjunction with the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.

Toledo-Leyva struggled with her weight when her eldest son developed terminal cancer. She was facing medical bills she couldn't pay, as a single mother and under tremendous stress. She's now a married mother of three and now has some food "tricks" she uses to cut down on the unhealthy stuff:

-she rinses off canned vegetables before serving them to cut down on the sodium

-uses low-fat cheeses to cut down on fat in her favorite recipes

-she still makes burritos and enchiladas, but grills the chicken or meat after soaking it in lemons, vegetables  and juices

-mealtimes are for family time - they sit around the table together and share the events of the day

"My son getting cancer wasn't something I could prevent. But if there are diseases like heart disease, diabetes and obesity that I can prevent, then I'm the mom," she says in the book.

"I will make sure we're doing everything possible for good health."

∫The U.S. Farm Bill and its authorization of government subsidies for soybeans and corn has attracted criticism for fueling cheap junk food that contains high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated soybean oil.

 

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

Arizona Daily Star health reporter Stephanie Innes brings you the latest health information. Contact her at sinnes@tucson.com

Deals, offers & events

View more...