How to Combat Childhood Obesity

Combat Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is an epidemic in the United States that hinders the future health of Americans. Being overweight or obese can affect a child’s emotional and physical well-being. Obesity represents an excess of body fat relative to lean muscle mass. Here are some quick statistics regarding childhood obesity:

  • According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2011-2014), 36% of adults and 17% of youth are considered obese. In this study, there was no difference in the incidence of obesity between boys and girls.
  • One in every three kids, ages 2-19 years, are considered overweight.
  • Among all children with Type II Diabetes Mellitus, 80% were obese.
  • Eight percent of children ages 8-17 had a total increased total cholesterol of greater than 200mg/dl.
  • Obesity increases the risks of developing chronic diseases such as Type II Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, Cardiovascular Disease, Depression and Sleep Apnea.

It is important to have your child assessed by a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist to determine if he or she is at risk for obesity, in the meantime, here’s what you can do at home:

  • Know the risk factors that are out of your control: A lot of different factors can lead to childhood obesity and weight issues. These include:
  • High birth, infancy and adolescent weight – If this is a concern, speak to your child’s pediatrician.
  • Age of solid food introduced – The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not introducing solid foods until after 6 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that children be breast or bottle fed for the first 6 months of life.
  • Obesity in one or both parents.
  • Family history of Diabetes Mellitus II, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease
  • Poor Sleep – It is important to establish a regular nap and bedtime schedule.

 

  • Know the factors that are in your control: There are several things you can do to combat obesity in your child.
  • Do not use foods as a reward or punishment.
  • Know the correct portion sizes.
  • Eat and prepare meals together as a family.
  • Avoid watching television or playing video games while eating.
  • Slow down, don’t eat too quickly and eat in a calm setting.
  • Do not force child to eat when not hungry or clear plate.
  • Avoid high fat and high sugar foods.
  • Do not encourage one child to eat differently than another.
  • Limit eating out: Portion sizes have increased over the past 20 years. Studies show that children eat an increase in calories when eating out. Restaurants have healthy options but most teens and adolescent choose foods that are higher in fat, sugar, and sodium.
  • Breakfast is the most important meal: Eating breakfast will help your child avoid overeating throughout the day. Those who eat breakfast have better school attendance, fewer stomach problems in the morning, concentrate better and have better muscle coordination and improved problem solving skills. Snacks should not be replacements for meals.
  • Encourage physical activity: Sports participation helps reduce the risk of obesity. Activity helps metabolism, brain function, and burns calories. Plan active family activities. Limit time in front of the computer and television. Youth ages 6-17 years need 60 minutes of physical activity/day including aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening activities.
  • Snack smart: A healthy meal plan includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Have these foods readily available for snacks. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, for ages 7-14 years of age less than 10 grams of sugar, at least 2 grams of fiber, and less than 2 grams of fat per snack is recommended.

By monitoring your child’s eating behaviors, controlling their environment, encouraging physical activity and portion control can reduce the risk of childhood obesity. Remember, it is important to set a good healthy example for your child.  A healthy lifestyle involves the entire family and can help your child achieve a healthy life. Happy eating!

Kristin Wargo Roeder is a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist with the Ozark Community Hospital Health System’s Integrated Care Department. The OCH Health System Integrated Care department provides a higher level of quality care to help improve health, while lowering health care costs for patients. OCH Health System’s Integrated Care department offers healthy eating classes year round. For more information about OCH Health System’s Integrated Care department, or any other services, visit http://www.ochonline.com.

To See or Not to See: The Truth About Diabetic Eye Health

Diabetic Eye Imagte

The eyes are windows to the soul, or so it has been said. This may or may not be true, but what is certainly true is that the eyes can speak wonders about a person’s health and well-being, especially with regard to diabetic patients. Diabetes is a sneaky disease. It wages war on arteries. Arteries transport blood that carries nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. Initially, diabetes attacks small blood vessels and, over time, the larger vessels are damaged, as is any organ fed by these vessels. The eyes, being very dependent on small blood vessels, are often first to experience damaging effects from diabetes.

  • The eyes allow arteries to be examined directly: A person’s eyes are the only place in the body where arteries can be directly examined without a person first being cut open or an IV catheter or other procedure. In the clinic, special instruments are used to examine arteries and other parts of the eye. During this painless exam, the eyes speak their special story. And of particular interest, this story may foretell of potential danger lurking ahead.
  • Eye damage from diabetes can appear at any time: Some people may go years before showing damage, while in others, the progression can be much faster. In early stages, most diabetic patients may experience no adverse vision symptoms, all while the vessels that feed the tissues of the eye are being slowly strangled and damaged by the disease.
  • Get your annual eye exams: At least once a year, regular diabetic eye exams can help detect changes in the eyes. Certain eye changes can indicate that other organs relying on small vessels are equally being damaged, including the kidneys and the brain. Therefore, the eye exam may help uncover signs of a lurking stroke or kidney disease or other major health event.
  • There is help: Treatment is available for eyes suffering with diabetes. Diabetic damage can be irreversible. Vision saving treatments are much more effective if instituted when changes are discovered early. If it’s been more than a year since your last diabetic eye exam, it’s time to schedule one. Your eyes will thank you.

Brendon Delport, DO, attended Evangel University and earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology. After graduation he moved to Kansas City, Missouri and attended medical school at the University of Medicine and Biosciences. He then completed an internship at Forest Park Hospital in St. Louis, followed by residency and an oculoplastics fellowship at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. In 2004, Dr. Delport returned to Springfield and established his practice with the OCH Health System.

Dr. Delport sees patients with Medicaid, Medicare and Tricare in both Springfield and Nixa. To learn more about Ophthalmology services offered through the OCH Health System, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Delport, contact the OCH Medical Offices Clinic at (417) 837-4239 or visit http://www.OCHonline.com for more information. 

Colon Cancer 101

colon

Jeopardy Contestant: “I’ll take Types of Cancer for 400, Alex.”

Trebek: “It is expected to kill more than 50,000 people in the U.S. in 2012 and there is a slightly greater than 5% chance you will get this in your lifetime.”

Jeopardy Contestant 2: (Buzz) “What is liver cancer?”

Trebek: “That is incorrect.”

Jeopardy Contestant: “What is colon cancer?”

Trebek: “Correct for 400.”

What is Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the colon. The colon is part of the body’s digestive system. The digestive system removes and processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from foods and helps pass waste material out of the body. The digestive system is made up of the esophagus, stomach, and the small and large intestines. The first 6 feet of the large intestine are called the large bowel or colon. The last 6 inches are the rectum and the anal canal. The anal canal ends at the anus (the opening of the large intestine to the outside of the body).

Risk Factors Signs & Symptoms

Risk factors can be broken down into four separate categories:

  • Average Risk: Age 50 or over with no other personal or family risk factors
  • Increased risk: Previous colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps and family history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
  • High risk: Inherited Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer or HNPCC) and inherited familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis (AFAP)
  • Lifestyle risks: Obesity, smoking, heavy alcohol use, lack of exercise, diets high in fat and red or processed meat, few fruits and vegetables, low levels of Vitamin D from sunshine.

Some of the most common signs & symptoms can include: A change in bowel habits, for example constipation or diarrhea that lasts more than a couple of weeks, a feeling that the bowel does not empty completely, bright red or very dark blood in the stool, black stools that may indicate hidden blood and stools that look narrower or thinner than normal. Abdominal discomfort such as frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps are also considered symptoms of this type of cancer. Weight loss with no known explanation, constant tiredness or fatigue and unexplained anemia (low number of red blood cells) are common symptoms as well with this type of cancer.

How to Detect Colon Cancer

The most common way for health care providers to detect colon cancer is to perform a procedure called a colonoscopy. A Colonoscopy lets the physician look inside your entire large intestine, from the lowest part, the rectum, all the way up through the colon to the lower end of the small intestine. The procedure is used to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. It is also used to diagnose the causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits.

Types of Treatments Include

Surgery (removing the cancer in an operation) is the most common treatment for all stages of colon cancer. A doctor may remove the cancer using one of the following types of surgery: Local excision, resection, resection and colostomy, radiofrequency ablation, cryosurgery, oncology, radiation therapy, biological therapy. Follow-up exams may help find recurrent colon cancer earlier.

Prevention Methods

Research suggests that up to 35 percent of cancers are related to poor diet. By modifying what you eat and being active, you can reduce your risk of cancer and other health problems.

  • Once you have made the decision to exercise, choose an activity that suits your personality – if you like the company of other people, choose an activity like a dance class or a team sport. If you prefer solitary activity, then walking or using equipment in a gym may be better for you.
  • Get help: ask for assistance from someone with an understanding of your selected activity – a trainer at your gym, the aerobic instructor – to help you prevent injury and to get the most from your workout.
  • Remember that even moderate exercise has health benefits. Moderate exercise is defined as activity that burns 150 calories of energy a day or 1000 a week. Try walking, yard work or recreational games like tennis or basketball.
  • Work toward 30 minutes of physical activity between three to five days a week.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself based on your fitness level.
  • Go slow and steady so you don’t become disappointed by setbacks.
  • Keep to a regular schedule – you will establish a routine and be more likely to stick to it. If you don’t stick to your schedule, don’t worry. Just pick up again where you left off and start again.
  • Always check with a physician when you begin a new exercise program, especially if you have been sedentary.

What You Need to Know About a Broken Heart.

broken-heart

“You can die of a broken heart — its scientific fact — and my heart has been breaking since that very first day we met. I can feel it now, aching deep behind my rib cage the way it does every time we’re together, beating a desperate rhythm: Love me. Love me. Love me.”

                                                                           — Abby McDonald, Getting over Garrett Delaney

In the medical community, it has many names: stress-induced cardiomyopathy, takotsubo cardiomyopathy, and apical ballooning syndrome. No matter what you call it, whether you choose to believe it or not, you can suffer from a broken heart. Read below for more information and tips on coping with Broken Heart Syndrome from OCH Health System’s Shanti Yerra, MD.

What is Broken Heart Syndrome? Many theories exist. The most accepted theory is an outpouring of sympathetic nerves system (associated with Fight or Flight) leads to part of the heart muscle to fail, causing a failure to pump.

Is it a Heart Attack? With a heart attack, there is an actual blockage of blood flow to the heart. With Broken Heart Syndrome, the coronary arteries are clean and it is treatable. Doctors can do different tests to help determine whether a person is having a heart attack or suffering from Broken Heart Syndrome.

Who is affected by Broken Heart Syndrome? Broken Heart Syndrome is more common in women, but it can effect anyone. Typically it is associated with major life changing events that may cause sudden and severe physical and/or emotional stress, such as:

  • Divorce or a romantic rejection
  • Unexpected loss or death of a loved one
  • Loss of a person’s job

Other factors may also have an affect on one suffering from Broken Heart Syndrome:

  • Certain prescription medications
  • People who suffer from depression, physical and mental problems
  • Neurological diseases, brain hemorrhages, seizures, etc.

How dangerous is it? Broken Heart Syndrome can be viewed as a mild to life threatening condition, which may require hospitalization. The good news is, this is a treatable and temporary condition.

How do you prevent Broken Heart Syndrome? Broken Heart Syndrome is a condition that is preventable, and here is how:

  • Practice a heart healthy lifestyle
    • Don’t smoke.
    • Exercise regularly
    • Maintain an optimal weight
    • Maintain a healthy blood pressure
  • Seek help
    • 1 in every 10 individuals suffers from depression. Seek help as early as you can. If you need an evaluation, contact your primary care physician.
  • Stress management
    • Learn how to manage your stress and other coping skills. To find out how, talk to your primary care physician.

 Shanti Yerra, MD, is a board certified Internal Medicine provider with the Ozark Community Hospital Health System’s Medical Offices Clinic in Springfield, Missouri. Dr. Yerra has received very high healthcare quality markers in diabetes management, preventative care, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. Dr. Yerra is NCQA (National Committee for Quality Assurance) certified. She passed her boards in the top 10 percentile and is currently participating in the MOC (Maintenance of Certification) program. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Yerra, contact the OCH Medical Offices Clinic at 417-875-4682.

How to Make a Realistic New Year’s Resolution About Your Diet

getting-back-on-track

Each year millions of people make resolutions. Some stick, but most seem to fade away after the initial excitement wears off. Perhaps it is because the goal was unrealistic. Or, it could be because the goal was fixated on a small detail, rather than the bigger picture. 

Dieting is a great example of this. If you are planning on making a resolution this year that is health-related, try focusing on just that. Forget the perfect weight or measuring success by numbers on a scale. Focus on your overall health and well-being.

Kristen Wargo-Roeder, OCH Health System Registered Dietitian, shares a few tips on how to realistically carry out this goal for the new year:

  • Track Yourself: Monitor what you eat and drink and record your exercise. You can log in a journal or on a fitness tracking application. Tracking both of these can help you assess and identify behaviors you want to change, and it can help you recognize an unhealthy habit.
  • Grab a Workout Friend: Having a workout buddy can help you be accountable and ensure you exercise. Schedule time to work out together to make it a priority. On average, children and teens should get 60 or more minutes of physical activity per day, and adults should get two and a half hours per week.
  • Start Small and Be Specific: For example, rather than saying I will drink more water, create a specific goal regarding the amount of water you’d like to drink per day. As an added bonus make it a goal to no longer drink soda (bonus)!  This play right in to the next tip.
  • Don’t Drink Your Calories: Drink water rather than high calorie or sugary drinks.
  • Be Positive: Do not judge yourself. It won’t be easy, but to remember you are trying to improve your eating habits, your lifestyle, and the way you feel. If it helps, remind yourself how you feel prior to an overindulgent eating/drinking event.
  • Healthy Food: We all over indulge and overeat. Each day is a new day and an opportunity time to recharge.
  • If you have a setback, get right back on your plan:  If you happen to over indulge, get back on the right track the next day. Do not procrastinate. The quicker you are back to a routine the faster your healthy behaviors will translate into a healthy lifestyle.
  • Focus on Fiber: Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into your meal plan. At each meal fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
  • Do NOT Skip Meals: Skipping meals can lead to over eating at snacks or next meal.

Make this the year of success! Meet your nutrition goals. Make a plan and remember you can do it. By following these recommendations, your New Year’s resolutions can be part of your healthy lifestyle. Here is to your health!

Kristen Wargo-Roeder is a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist with the Ozark Community Hospital Health System’s Integrated Care department. OCH Health System’s Integrated Care department offers healthy eating classes year round. For more information about OCH’s Integrated Care department, or any other services, visit www.ochonline.com.

Treat Your Feet Well this Winter

treat-your-feet

Winter can be just as tough on your toes as it is on cars and houses. Don’t neglect ‘em just because they are hidden away! Good foot health contributes to your overall health, no matter the season.

Below, podiatrist Kory Miskin, DPM, shares a few tips on how to be sweet to your feet during the cold weather:

  • DON’T IMPROVISE WINTER SPORT SHOES: If you snowboard or ski, it’s important to only wear boots specifically designed for that purpose. Make sure they fit properly. This means that you should be able to wiggle your toes and the boots should immobilize the heel, instep, and ball of your foot. You can use orthotics (support devices that go inside shoes) to help control the foot’s movement inside ski boots or ice skates.

 

  • BE “SIZE-SMART” WHEN BUYING NEW: It may be tempting to buy pricey specialty footwear (like winter boots or ski boots) for kids in a slightly larger size in hope that they’ll be able to get two seasons of wear out of them. Unlike coats that kids can grow into, footwear needs to fit properly right away. Properly fitted skates and boots can help prevent blisters, chafing, and ankle or foot injuries. Likewise, if socks are too small, they can force toes to bunch together, and that friction can cause painful blisters or corns.

 

  • KEEP YOUR TOES COZY, BUT NOT TOO COZY: Boots are must-have footwear in winter climates, especially when dealing with winter precipitation. Between the waterproof material of the boots themselves and the warm socks you wear to keep toes toasty, you may find your feet sweat a lot. Damp sweaty feet can chill more easily and are more prone to bacterial infections. To keep feet clean and dry, consider using foot powder inside socks and incorporating extra foot baths into your foot care regimen this winter.

 

  • IT’S OKAY TO RUN IN THE COLD: If you’re a runner, you don’t need to let the cold stop you! A variety of warm, light-weight, moisture-wicking active wear available at most running or sporting goods stores helps ensure runners stay warm and dry in bitter temperatures. Try and shorten your stride to help maintain stability during icy conditions instead of altering the way your foot strikes the ground. Always remember to stretch during the cold!

 

  • KEEP YOUR FEET HYDRATED: Remember to keep your feet moisturized on a daily basis, but do not moisturize in between your toes. After bathing and/or showering, make sure to dry your feet in between your toes to avoid cracking/fissuring which can lead to bacterial infections.

As a final winter safety-reminder, remember not to tip-toe through winter snow, ice, and temperatures in summer footwear.  Choose winter footwear that will keep your feet warm, dry, and well-supported to avoid exposing your feet to frostbite or injury.  The good news is, there are plenty of options out there that meet THE criteria (and are fashionable as well).

Dr. Kory Miskin joined the OCH Health System in December. He is available to see patients Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the OCH of Gravette facility. Dr. Miskin can provide medical diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems. He received his education from Brigham Young University – Provo and from Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine. He is currently is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association and American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. To contact the OCH of Gravette Specialty Clinic, or schedule an appointment, call the office at 479-344-6870 or fax 479-344-6865.

How to Avoid Gaining Weight during the Holidays

avoid-weight-gain-holidays

 

The holidays are a time of celebration, and they are also a time of overindulgence. The average American will gain about one to two pounds during the holiday season. During this time of year, trying to achieve weight loss may be difficult. But, incorporating a few proactive strategies can help you stay in control. Read below for tips from Kristen Wargo – Roeder, OCH Health System Registered Dietitian:

  1. Be Accountable – Repeat positive thoughts and write down what you eat. The more you are accountable the more consistent you will be.
  1. Avoid Overeating – If you are attending a party or gather, eat small, lower-calorie meals during the day. Enjoy snacks that are low in calorie, but high fiber as this will curb hunger and help avoid overeating. If you are bringing a dish, make it healthy.
  1. Get Moving – Balance calories in with calories out. Physical activity can combat extra calories. After a meal, take a walk with friends and family.
  1. Serving Sizes – Using a smaller plate will encourage you to eat smaller portions. Start by filling your plate with vegetables and salads.
  1. Slow Down – It takes at least 10 minutes for your stomach to communicate to your brain that it is full. Wait at least 10 minutes before returning to the buffet table. Be mindful, eat slowly and enjoy every bite.
  1. Stay Hydrated – Always have water available and drink before you are thirsty. It is okay to have a glass of wine, but if you do, match equal number of glasses of water for every glass of alcohol or caffeinated beverage. You should drink eight glasses of water consistently throughout the day. Staying hydrated will help with digestion and is necessary for proper kidney, heart, and liver function. A glass of water can make you feel fuller at a party, helping you to eat less.

By making a few conscious and consistent changes to your lifestyle you can avoid weight gain this holiday season. Plan ahead and prepare to have success! By doing both, you can have a happy and healthy holiday season.

Kristen Wargo-Roeder is a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist with the Ozark Community Hospital Health System’s Integrated Care Department. The OCH Health System Integrated Care department provides a higher level of quality care to help improve health, while lowering health care costs for patients. OCH Health System’s Integrated Care department offers healthy eating classes year round. For more information about OCH’s Integrated Care department, or any other services, visit http://www.ochonline.com.