Tag Archives: whole food

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

 

America “super sized” (Pedcast)


Welcome to another edition of DocSmo.com, the pediatric blog  that gives parents practical, portable pediatrics on their time framework. I am Dr. Paul Smolen, your pedcast host. Today, I am going to bring you a different type of pedcast. Usually I try to bring you mostly factual information about a pediatric topic sprinkled with some observation from my doctor chair along with a few opinions. Not today… this is going to be “pure opinion.” I am going to get a little preachy about a topic that I feel very strongly about… childhood obesity. I am not going to candy coat the message; it’s coming straight at you like a fastball over home plate… straight and fast. So sit back and listen. Hopefully the message will come through clearly.

Oh boy, do we have our work cut out for ourselves. The obesity epidemic shows no signs of abating anytime soon. Processed foods crept into the American landscape during the 20th century slowly but surely, one soda and sweet cereal at a time. Food companies saw new markets, and they met the need. They created new foods faster than your great-grandmother could darn your parents’ socks. We became enamored by easy, fast, and satisfying. Boy have we paid a price for all this “innovation.” Yes, nutrition on the fly let us spend less time shopping and preparing, but it also has made heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension a way of life in the western world. What I read says these maladies are all about lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle, not genes, genes, genes. What I find ironic is that for all the money we spend on antihypertensive medicines, cholesterol lowering drugs, and insulin for our diabetics, we could probably buy groceries for every American. One of the saddest things about my job is that I see many children who have never been and probably will never be in good physical or nutritional condition. I fear that these children will become adults thinking that good food is a side salad with their value meal at the drive thru and exercise is walking to the store to get a candy bar.  What will they provide for their children when they become parents? Less than optimal food, I suspect, and little activity. They won’t know any better… and  the cycle continues. It’s easy to eat junky processed food and it’s hard to buy, cook and serve real food. Providing wholesome food is one of the most important parenting tasks facing parents.

So how are we going to get ourselves out of this nutritional mess we have created? Here is what I suggest: Start by teaching your children the difference between whole food and processed foods…and repeat the message often until they get it! Make sure you are setting a good example of eating for your children by eating the way your grandmother would have wished you would. Make it a priority to have as many family meals as possible with real food. If you have the space, plant a small garden and involve your children in cultivating vegetables. Get your children involved with the shopping and cooking process; it’s fun and you will cherish the time you spend together in the kitchen someday…I promise. Vow to get all the sweet drinks out of everyone in your families diet…no soda, no sports drinks, no sweet tea, no energy drinks, no calorie laden coffee drinks. Limit fast food to no more than once a week… No, make that “eating out anywhere” no more than once a week. And finally, lets stop making every holiday a candy fest, every fund raiser a chance to sell sweets, every celebration a gluttonous festival of food, every sporting event a sugary slurry of drinks, and every accomplishment rewarded by something to be consumed.  We can find other ways of saying good job without insulin levels off the scale. Let’s start paying more attention to what children need rather than what they want. Only then will we get it right. Well, thanks for joining me today. I feel better getting all that off my chest. Who knows, maybe I will inspire a few people to make some big life changes. I always welcome comments from my listeners. To comment, leave your thoughts on Facebook, iTunes or at my website, www.docsmo.com. Who knows, you might see them in print. This is Dr. Paul Smolen, thinking it would really dandy  if our children got less candy. Until next time.

From the desk of Doc Smo: Dietary supplements improve health? (Article)

The news had not been kind to the vitamin and nutrition supplement makes recently.  Many have heard of the conclusion of the Iowa Women’s Health study which found that supplemental vitamins and iron were not only not helpful to the health of older women, but they may actually be detrimental. Death from all causes were higher among the women who took supplements that those that did not. large epidemiologic studies have found that eating the whole fruits and vegetables does improve health.

On the heels of this study comes on in the British medical journal that found eating fish 2 or more times a week reduced ones chances of stroke but taking fish oil supplement did not show the same benefit. Once again, supplements seem not to be effective in preventing disease whereas the natural whole food is effective.  I think the message is clear from these studies: nutrients work in concert with one another, probably optimally in the balance that are found in whole food. Nutrients work in concert with one another, much like a symphony of musicians. For an orchestra to sound right, all the instruments need to be in balance, playing together in synchrony. Our cells are much the same, needing a steady diet of all the nutrients that are found in the whole foods that we know are essential to health. Improving your child’s health by finding just the right mixture of vitamins and nutrients is probably not going to happen.  Providing them with  a wide variety of whole foods and limiting or eliminating entirely processed foods is your child’s ticket to good health, now and in the future.

Your comments are welcome at www.docsmo.com.  Until next time.

 

Smo notes:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21987192

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/11/more-evidence-against-vitamin-use/

http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1105975

http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e6698

“Food Decisions” with Dr. Kilbane (Pedcast)

In today’s podcast, Dr. Sheila Kilbane returns to bring us some of her insights regarding nutrition that can help parents make food decisions for their children.  This is one of those podcasts you don’t want to miss.   In today’s pedcast, you will hear a  discussion of  organic versus non organic food, which is best for your family? Dr. Kilbane will help you make your family’s food decisions!


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Smo Notes:

1. http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/

2.  Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides
Maryse F. Bouchard, David C. Bellinger, Robert O. Wright and Marc G. Weisskopf.   

        Pediatrics; originally published online May 17, 2010; 

3.  Organic Diets Significantly Lower Children’s Dietary Exposure to Organophosphorus Pesticides

        Chensheng Lu, Kathryn Toepel, Rene Irish, Richard A Fenski, Dana B Barr, & Roberto Bravo.


Environ Health Perspect. 2006 February; 114(2): 260–263.

        Published online 2005 September 1. doi:  10.1289/ehp.8418

4.  Pesticides

  • Bernard Weiss,
  • Sherlita Amler,
  • and Robert W. Amler

Pediatrics 2004; 113:Supplement 3 

 

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