Pediatric Gastroenterology and Obesity

When it comes to pediatric gastroenterology, you can count on GI4kids. As the leader in pediatric gastroenterology in East Tennessee, GI for Kids prides itself on offering you and your children the best advice and the finest services in Knoxville and the surrounding areas.

One of the issues the GI4kids pediatric gastroenterology physicians and dietitians deal with is childhood obesity from physical inactivity and a poor diet.

Physical activity is an important component of health and well-being for people of all ages. Children who are physically active may gain immediate and long-term positive effects, such as improved mental health and self-esteem, enhanced performance of daily activities, promotion of bone formation, weight management, and prevention of cardiovascular risk factors.

Today, screen time has been on the rise when it comes to a child’s preferred daily recreation. It is estimated that children in the United States spend 25% of their waking hours watching TV, using the computer, and playing video games as their leisure time.  The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that children who watch five or more hours of TV per day have four-and-a-half times greater risk of being overweight than those who watch two hours or less.

In addition to inactivity, children today have an unhealthy diet that includes more fast foods, sugar-sweetened drinks, and not eating breakfast. Fast food is ready-to-eat, low cost, and easy to take home and serve. Having less nutritional value and much higher in calories, this diet produces more overweight and obesity in children.

In 2007, The American Academy of Pediatrics, recommended avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages, reducing portion sizes, eating 5 to 9 fruit and vegetable servings a day, at least 1 hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day, eating breakfast, a maximum of 2 hours of TV, and eating less fast food to reduce the risk of children becoming overweight and obese.

For more information regarding childhood and adolescent obesity, talk to the pediatric gastroenterology professionals from GI for Kids who can help you come up with a plan to keep your kids and teens fit for life.