Malcolm S. Schwartz, D.O., a board certified osteopathic pediatric endocrinologist and chief of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, N.J., addressed the American Osteopathic Association Convention and Scientific Seminar in San Diego on Oct. 1, and explained how parents schools and communities can help children stay fit.
"Even during pregnancy a mother can help her
child by watching her
weight and maintaining a moderate exercise level," said Dr. Schwartz
also recommends that families eat meals together at a fixed time and place and not to eat in front of the television.
This is not to say that influences outside the family cannot help curb childhood obesity.
believes that schools can help by educating children on appropriate diet and lifestyle choices, eliminating cookie and candy sales as fundraisers and installing more water fountains.
also calls for mandating minimum standards for physical education in schools and encouraging schools to review the contents of vending machines for healthier choices.
Osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) from across the country affirmed their beliefs in these simple yet crucial lifestyle changes this past July at the American Osteopathic Association
(AOA) annual business meeting.
At the meeting, D.O.s and osteopathic medical students voted to urge school officials to eliminate carbonated soft drinks in schools and for states to implement daily physical education in grades K-12.
"The need to end childhood obesity is becoming more urgent as the onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus is occurring at younger ages than ever before," Dr. Schwartz