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Obesity risk concerns amidst the pandemic

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 7:10 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -More time inside, may mean more time online.... less exercise and more weight gain.

“In our clinic, we’ve seen 10 to 15, 20 and even 30 pounds. Thirty pounds is in a short amount of time. It’s unhealthy and hard on the body,” said Dr. Rotem Elitsur-Fitzpatrick, a pediatrician at Aspen Pediatrics.

Obesity risk concerns amidst the pandemic
Obesity risk concerns amidst the pandemic(KOLO)

She said the pandemic has disrupted our regular routines, impacting our eating habits, sleep schedule and even physical activity.

“There’s so many things stacked against these kids. we have smoke over the summer so it was hard to go outside then distance learning and sports have been cancelled,” added Dr. Elitsur-Fitzpatrick.

Dr. Elitsur-Fitzpatrick says many complications such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and even depression is liked to childhood obesity.

“We’re seeing more and more adult diseases in our kids,” said Dr. Elitsur-Fitzpatrick.” It’s sad and preventable which is why we push for a healthy lifestyle.”

So improving dietary habits and exercise is key, she recommends the 5-2-1-0 rule.

Start by eating five fruits and vegetables a day, whether it’s fresh or frozen.

“While two is less than two hours a day of screen time, obviously this doesn’t count with the learning aspect but talking about being on your phone or playing video games,” explained Dr. Elitsur-Fitzpatrick. “Then one hour a day of exercise, again it doesn’t have to be continuous but be broken up in 10 or 15 segments.”

Last but not least is zero meaning no sugary drinks, cutting out soda and juice from your child’s diet.

“We know if you’re obese in childhood, you’re more likely to be obese as an adult, said Dr. Elitsur-Fitzpatrick. “That’s why it’s so important because kids are so impressionable and are willing to try more things and trying to start with a good diet from childhood you’ll take that on in adulthood and be healthier later in life.”

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