Tag Archives: processed foods

6 Reasons Your Children Need Breakfast (Pedcast)

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Introduction

I think this pedcast title speaks for itself. Today we are going to go over six reasons your children need breakfast and why all parents with young children should make providing breakfast a priority for their children. Stay tuned for this informative and important pedcast that’s coming at you right now with me, your host, Dr. Paul Smolen. Continue reading

Are Your Kids Too Clean? (Pedcast)

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Voice intro:

Welcome to another edition of Portable Practical Pediatrics. I’m your host, Dr. Paul Smolen, also known as Doc Smo. From the bassinet to the board room, if the topic involves children, we talk about it here. I frequently get asked by the parents of my patients, “Why do so many children have food allergy, asthma, and eczema today? Most of these parents don’t remember their friends having nearly the incidence of allergy that today’s children do and that was just a few decades ago. What is going on, they ask? Well, my answer is that we really don’t know, but we are beginning to get closer to an answer. For years, immunologists and allergists have been talking about something called the Hygiene Hypothesis to explain all of this allergy. Recent observations have made this less of a theory and more of an explanation. Experts are beginning to have some understanding. So in today’s pedcast, I thought we would talk about some of this evidence and introduce you to the current thinking about allergies and children. The hope is if we can understand what is driving the allergy epidemic, we can help protect future kids from suffering from with terrible allergies. Continue reading

Children: Eating Themselves Sick ? (Pedcast)

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Dr. Paul Smolen here. Welcome to this week’s edition of docsmo.com, a pediatric podcast dedicated to helping parents and children by bringing you timely accurate health information. Today we are going to talk about an emerging disease… not an emerging infectious disease but one that clearly comes back to lifestyle choices. A newly recognized, silent liver disease (hepatitis) is spreading across America among children that is called NASH or non alcoholic steatohepatitis. While the cause is not fully understood, the injury to these children’s livers seems to be associated with an excess intake of food, calories and high fructose corn syrup so common in our diets. Yes, these children seem to be literally eating themselves into a seriously poor health. Their excess consumption of food seems to cause the normal red brown healthy liver tissue to be replaced with yellow fatty sick liver tissue. Recent studies estimate that 1 out of every 10 children in the United States, or more than 7 million children, have fatty liver disease, the first step in the progression to the development of NASH and possibly irreversible cirrhosis or scarring of liver. A cirrhotic liver has had the healthy liver cells replaced with scar tissue…a liver that simply cannot keep a child growing and healthy. Unfortunately, once a liver has become cirrhotic, there is no going back to healthy.

Here is what experts are currently thinking is behind this newly recognized liver disease: a major excess intake of certain foods  first triggers the development of a fatty liver, followed by a type of hepatitis called NASH, and finally for some unfortunate children, cirrhosis. All of this can occur without symptoms. Currently about 40% of obese children (those with a BMI greater than 30) seem to be afflicted with fatty livers and possibly the more serious NASH or cirrhosis. Mexican-American children seem to be unusually susceptible, while interestingly, African American children seem to be more protected from the disease.

Based on current knowledge, many experts suggest the following:

1.  Children who are obese should have blood testing to check their liver function as well as the other related conditions such as diabetes, and elevated blood cholesterol.

2.  If a child is found to have abnormal liver function tests, weight loss through diet and exercise is imperative.

3.  Vitamin E supplement as well as a diet rich in green leafy vegetables seems to help reduce the liver inflammation.

4.  Elimination of foods produced with high fructose corn syrup may also help.

If your child struggles with their weight, the emergence of NASH is yet another reason to make some radical life changes for the sake of their health. Remember that DocSmo pearl, Grandma didn’t waste her time telling us things that weren’t important… eat your spinach!

Your comments are welcome at www.docsmo.com. From studio 1E, this is Doc Smo, hoping your family makes a quick DASH to avoid foods that might cause NASH. Until next time.

Smo Notes;

1.Wang,Shirley, Fatty Liver: More Prevalent in Children, Wall Street journal, September 9th, 2013 http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1000142412788732454900457906490305169278 – See more at: http://www.docsmo.com/are-our-children-eating-themselves-to-poor-liver-health-article/#sthash.RVvP38sh.dpuf 

Nutrition Improves in the US (Article)

Nutrition experts believe that breast milk is the best food for babies, plain and simple. Human milk contains vital nutrients and other substances that allow babies to thrive. Mothers need all the help we can give to be successful in this important task of motherhood. We should all want mothers to not only choose to start breast feeding, but to continue the practice as necessary.  Recent studies have found that more mothers are choosing to start and continue feeding from the breast. The National Immunization Survey (NIS) collects vaccination and other health data from households with children.  In 2003, the NIS found over 70% started breastfeeding, 34.5% breastfed for 6 months, and exactly 16% breastfed for 12 months.  Their latest data, from 2008, showed improvement in these percentages with 74%, 44.4%, and 23.4%, respectively. Interestingly when racial/ethnic data were included in the 2001 data, the survey found over 47% of African Americans, 71% of Caucasians, and 77% of Hispanics initiated breastfeeding.

 

Are we in the midst of a food “Renaissance”?  Mothers in the US are increasingly choosing more natural foods as their primary source of nutrition for their infants and children.  I think we should all be thrilled by this news. Breastfeeding an infant for six to twelve months, or longer, is great for babies as well as mothers. The twentieth century ushered in the revolution of fast, convenient, processed, inexpensive foods. Infants and children shared in this “revolution” by increasingly being served such things as infant formula, sodas of all variety, processed meats, juices, and of course, fast food.  Maybe the 21st century will undo much of this “progress”.

 

Artificial food has lost much of its luster in recent days, with parents increasingly seeking and demanding whole foods for their children.  What could be more “whole” than breast milk? In the midst of the obesity and diabetes epidemic, I think that parents sense how important good food is to the well-being of their children. I see parents, whenever possible, pushing back the clock to a time when food was food and natural was natural.  What better place to start than the day a baby is born by starting with what almost everyone agrees is the best food for newborns, your mother’s milk!

 

I welcome your comments at my blog, www.docsmo.com.  Until next time.

 

Written by Norman Spencer and Paul Smolen M.D.

 

Smo Notes:

 

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6205a1.htm?s_cid=mm6205a1_w