Diplomate, Board Certification of Emergency Medicine
Chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine Ma'ayenei Hayeshua
One more column on children's problems, based on new
information I have received through my medical reading. The
American Heart Association has recently released guidelines
to prevent heart disease from an early age. I will summarize
Obesity is a rampant problem in our kids. Eating habits are
established early, and are hard to break. A fat kid at age 8
will remain so for life. Chubby people have significantly
increased risks of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and
diabetes. This translates to high rates of heart disease,
stroke and complications of diabetes.
Consider these dietary changes: lowering egg, red meat,
bread, and pasta consumption. Commercial snacks are tasty --
and dangerous. Encourage fruit and find a vegetable that your
kids like. This will prevent colon cancer as well. Borekas,
pizza and malawach should never be in your house. I haven't
bought soup croutons in years. Want some low fat recipes that
your kids will like? Write me.
The AHA recommends first cholesterol screening at age 2.
Children over ten with high cholesterol -- specifically the
bad LDL type -- and who are obese, and don't exercise, are
now treated with medications to lower the cholesterol. I hate
repeating myself, but if you exercise your kids will be
encouraged to. Have the money? Buy a treadmill or exercise
bike. Don't have the money? Jump rope (yes men can jump rope
too -- I do), go up the stairs in your building or town a few
times, or walk outside briskly.
They are starting to measure blood pressure at age 3! Those
with higher blood pressures are to receive blood pressure
medications. Diabetes screening is beginning earlier as well.
More and more kids are going to be taking medications to
preserve their future.
Two last points on this subject. If anyone in the house
smokes, your child has high risk of smoking as well. Same
goes for drinking. Also, girls especially will help prevent
future problems with osteoporosis by exercising at an early
age and staying at it, and by making sure they always get
enough calcium. There are some calcium supplements that come
from oysters, so make sure that your vitamin comes with good
rabbinical supervision or just make sure you eat the right
Some news on weight loss. A new pill used by gynecologists
for hormone control has been reported to cause weight loss.
However, it really does so through its diuretic effects. That
is, it causes fluid to leave the body. This isn't really
lowering your fat levels, and this is indeed how many weight
loss pills work: through causing fluid loss. There is an anti-
epilepsy drug that does cause weight loss, but it has many
side effects. Recognize there is no magic pill. Lots of self
discipline can work with diet and exercise, and recent
advances in surgery also work in healthy people. Write me in
care of the Yated.
A message from Glaxo, sponsor of this column. An
observational study in the UK sponsored by Glaxo showed that
when using their drug Seretide, people with emphysema lived
longer. Benefits for this drug combination are already known
for asthma. If you have breathing problems -- this may be