Can Your Prenatal Habits Cause Childhood Obesity?

Healthy pregnant womanA healthy lifestyle is encouraged during pregnancy, as choices of the mother can directly affect the health of the infant long after birth.

Childhood obesity is a growing health problem which affects one in every three children. Studies have found that excessive weight gained during pregnancy and smoking can be contributing factors in juvenile obesity.

It is important to maintain a healthy weight while pregnant, because excessive weight gain can affect the baby’s birth weight. Women who become obese during pregnancy are more likely to have bigger babies. Research indicates that infants with high birth weights run a risk in becoming obese as children. Consult a medical professional to discuss tools that are useful in weight control. Dietary counseling and exercise regimens compatible with patient condition and lifestyle may be recommended.

Pregnant women should not smoke. Maternal smoking can cause low intrauterine growth, which at times result in accelerated postnatal growth and childhood obesity. Physicians highly encourage smoking cessation in the earlier stages of pregnancy, but it is never too late to quit. The pregnancy will be improved the sooner the mother quits and the chances of carrying a healthy baby to full term will be greater.

Maintaining good health while pregnant promotes a healthy birth. Receiving early and regular prenatal care reduces the risk of complications for infants. To make an appointment for prenatal care at Jamaica Hospital Women’s Health Center, please call 718 291 3276.


The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.


How Obesity Can Affect Your Teen’s Self Esteem

Obesity among teenagers is a growing problem in the United Sates. It is estimated that 30% of teenagers are overweight and another 15% are obese.

Feet on a scaleMany parents and doctors focus on the physical effects of obesity, but what about the psychological and emotional ramifications? Obesity can lead to heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and hypertension, but its depression, low self esteem, anxiety and poor body image that should be the greater concern for most.

Recent studies have concluded that obese teens have considerably lower self esteem than their non-obese peers. The difference in the two groups is most evident among 14 year olds, which also happens to be a critical time for teens because it is when they develop their sense of self worth. It is also an age where peers can be most cruel. Teasing, taunting, and poor treatment from other kids can also contribute to depression and other psychological issues.

Teens with low self-esteem often feel lonely, nervous, or are generally sad. They are also more inclined to experiment with cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. They often become depressed, which causes them to withdraw from social activities with friends and family and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed.

There are a variety of factors that have contributed to a rise in obesity among teens. While genetics play a role for some, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle are often the cause for most. Teens today consume too much junk food and sugary drinks and don’t exercise as much as in previous generations. Temptations from television, video games, and computers are often cited as the reasons for a decrease in physical activity.

Professionals suggest that parents of obese teens engage their children in an open dialogue about the issue. Together, parents and teens can work on a plan that is attainable. Efforts to fix the problem should focus on lifestyle issues rather than a calorie count because attempting to impose a strict diet could contribute to the teen’s poor self esteem. Incorporate the assistance of a medical professional, but allow the teen to take charge during visits in an effort to build confidence.  Parents should encourage and participate in improving diet and increasing activity as well.

Jamaica Hospital has a variety of services to help teens facing this issue, including nutritional counseling and adolescent mental health services. Speak to your child’s pediatrician or make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to find the best treatment options for your teen.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.


Autumn Kale Salad Recipe


With Autumn arriving and our backyard grills safely packed away, we have provided a great kale salad recipe from to compliment any fall meal choice.

 “If you slice kale thin and toss it with other tasty treats like apple, persimmon, orange, and nuts, the kale mellows out and serves as a perfect foil for other vegetation.” Chef John

 For the entire recipe please follow the link to –

486504013 - kale salad

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.


Ways to Quit Smoking

Would you like to quit smoking but don’t know which method is the best for you?

Smoking cessation methods all have positive and negative attributes. There is no guarantee that any one way is better than any other. Some of the methods available are:

• Behavioral Modification – this is an important method because it involves educating people who want to quit and learn about the health benefits of smoking cessation. Some of the behavioral techniques include keeping a diary of when the person needs a cigarette, smoking only half a cigarette, waiting 5 minutes after the urge hits before reaching for a cigarette, and avoiding situations or places that trigger the desire to have a cigarette.

• Cold Turkey – This technique is good for a first attempt. The level of success can vary and is often dependent on the person’s determination to achieve the goal. It also is the least expensive way of quitting. This method usually works best for people who are casual smokers, have a low nicotine dependence, and who smoke less than ten cigarettes a day.

• Nicotine Patch – This technique is often the first choice for people who are tying to quit smoking. It is relatively safe to use and isn’t very expensive. Some side effects include skin rash and vivid dreams. The patch is usually used for six to eight weeks.

• Nicotine Gum – This is another popular technique that people will try when they want to quit smoking. It is more expensive than the patch and a person has to be willing to chew a lot of gum throughout the day in order to keep the medication at a constant level in the body. It isn’t as quick acting as some of the other techniques. Nicotine gum comes in two strengths, 2 mg and 4 mg, and the higher dose is best for people who are heavy smokers. Some of the side effects can be sore mouth, hiccups, and nausea.

• Burpropion – Zyban – The first non nicotine product for smoking cessation. This is a pill that can be used in addition to the nicotine patch. A person starts taking this medication for one to two weeks before their intended quit date. It should not be used for more than 12 weeks. The side effects can include headaches, insomnia, dry mouth and rhinitis.

• Nasal Spray – This is a good method for people who did not have success with the patch or the gum. It is quick acting and good for people who are heavy smokers. It is very expensive and not much more effective than the other modalities.

Smoking cessation can be difficult to achieve with just one attempt. Studies have shown though that people who have higher rates of success are under a physicians care and guidance in this process. To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Jamaica Hospital to discuss the best options for you, please call 718-206-6742.quit smoking

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.


High Blood Pressure? Make sure you read the labels on OTC Meds

Over the counter (OTC) remedies often seem like the way to alleviate allergy symptoms, headaches or common cold symptoms. However, it177013482_OTC Meds&BP is always important to read the labels of any OTC medicines, especially if you are taking medications to treat high blood pressure.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), are often used to relieve pain or reduce inflammation. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, are OTC medicines, which are considered NSAIDs, and cause you to retain fluid and decrease kidney function, placing a greater stress on your heart or kidneys.

Believe it or not, many cough and cold medications contain NSAIDs to relieve decongestion and pain. Decongestants can make your blood pressure and heart rate rise and may prevent high blood pressure medications from working properly. Avoid using them and seek alternative ways to ease the symptoms of cold, flu, or sinus problems.

Do you suffer from migraines? Some migraine headache medications work by constricting blood vessels in your head, but the medication also constricts blood vessels throughout your body. This can raise blood pressure, perhaps to dangerous levels. If you have high blood pressure or any other type of heart disease, speak with your doctor before taking medication for migraines or severe headaches.

Trying to lose weight? Appetite suppressants tend to speed-up the body and can make your blood pressure rise, placing more stress on your heart. Before using any weight loss drug, whether prescription or over-the-counter, be sure to check with your doctor. These medications may do you more harm than good.

Read medication labels before buying over-the-counter preparations. Talk to your doctor before using any over-the-counter medication, herbal preparation, vitamins, or other nutritional supplements. Ask for alternatives to potentially harmful medicines. Give a list of all the medications you use, both prescription and over-the-counter, to every doctor you visit, including dosages. If you do not have a physician and would like set up an appointment to meet with one, please contact Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Center at 718-206- 7001.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.


Home Remedies Separating Fact from Myth

chicken soupAge-old home remedies have been passed on for generations.  Even in a modern, technologically advanced and scientific world, these timeless, home-made cures have remained and become common practice in the way minor ailments are treated.
Over the years, medical studies have been conducted to determine the validity in some of these home remedies.

Here are a few remedies in which myths have been dispelled and facts confirmed:
• Chicken Soup is good for a cold
Fact- Research published in the medical journal Chest in 2000, shows that chicken soup does have anti- inflammatory effects that clear stuffy noses and soothe sore throats.  Hot fluids also aid in the movement of nasal mucus.
• Krazy Glue can be used to seal small wounds
Myth-It Is not advised to use Krazy Glue to seal small wounds. The United States Food and Drug Administration does not recommend the use of it for medicinal purposes. One may run the risk of infection or an allergic reaction.
• Honey helps in healing wounds
Fact-studies support the use of medical-grade honey as a healing agent in minor wound care. Honey possesses antibacterial properties. It has an obstructive effect on over 60 types of bacteria.
• Feed a cold, starve a fever
Myth-This is an old wives’ tale. In actuality when experiencing cold or flu symptoms the body needs all the nutrients of a proper diet. Eating foods that are high in anti-oxidants such as vitamin C, Beta- Carotene and vitamin E; helps build up the immune system.  It is also very important to stay hydrated.
• Steam helps in the relief of sinus headaches
Fact-Inhaling steam relieves sinus pressure by opening up and flushing out nasal passages. Adding oils such as, eucalyptus, peppermint and chamomile can also help in soothing the mucus lining.
• Eating fish makes you smart
Fact-This is true for children up to age three or four. Fish such as salmon, Atlantic mackerel, sardines and Albacore tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). DHA is beneficial for brain development in infants for the first two years of life. If your child is allergic to seafood, alternatives to fish include walnuts and avocado.

While some home remedies are natural, they may cause adverse reactions if you are taking certain medications or have allergies.  It is always best to consult a physician before using them. You can make an appointment to see a Family Medicine practitioner at Jamaica Hospital by calling 718 206 6942.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.


Will Drinking Soda Make you Sick?

sodaLet’s test your knowledge. What is the single biggest source of calories for Americans? Is it white bread? Fast food? Nope, it’s soda!

American’s drink about two cans of soda every day. You may think that drinking diet soda, with no calories or sugar is the perfect way to satisfy you need for soda.  Think again.  Drinking diet soda has its own set of side effects that may harm your health.

Unfortunately, diet soda is more in vogue than ever. Kids consume diet soda at more than double the rate of the last decade, according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Among adults, consumption has grown almost 25%.

Some side effects of drinking too much soda are:

  • Declining Kidney function
  • High risk of metabolic syndrome
  • Bellyfat
  • High Cholesterol
  • Heart Disease
  • Obesity
  • Cavities
  • Gum Disease

So, you have to ask yourself, are you making the right choice when reaching out for a can of soda, diet or regular?  The answer is, no. Drinking soda is bad for your health in so many ways.  Science can’t even state all the consequences. Water is and has been the healthier alternative.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.


Centering Care: Share Your Prenatal Experience With Other Expectant Moms

Centering.457095671Frustrated by short prenatal visits that leave you with more questions than answers? You might be interested in learning about a new, very popular and effective form of prenatal care.

 Centering Pregnancy incorporates a group care model that provides a dynamic and lively atmosphere for learning and sharing that is difficult to create during a typical prenatal care visit. During a centering modeled pre-natal care visit, a group of women with similar gestational ages meet together, to participate in a provider facilitated discussion. Through this unique model of care, women have an opportunity to share similar experiences, receive support, and empower one another to choose healthy behaviors during their pregnancies.

Centering Pregnancy maintains all the same patient-centered elements of traditional prenatal care, but incorporates them into an interactive experience for expectant mothers and their families. At the beginning of each session, patients have a brief individual assessment by the care provider before joining the group to discuss key health topics and the exchange of information and education on shared health experiences.  Each group visit lasts under two hours with your healthcare provider guiding the session.

Each group meets for a total of 10 sessions throughout pregnancy. Sessions begin during the first trimester and meet at regular prenatal intervals until delivery. After delivery, the group meets for a reunion session during the postpartum period.

The satisfaction expressed by both the women and their providers support the effectiveness of this model of care.  Women who have participated in centering-based prenatal care have expressed a high level of fulfillment and motivation. Professionals report that the group setting provides them with renewed satisfaction in delivering quality care. Some of the many benefits of centering care include reduction in preterm birth, higher birth weight and increased breastfeeding rates.

Jamaica Hospital now offers Centering Prenatal care at its Women’s Health Care Center. For more information about Jamaica Hospital’s Centering Program, please call 718-291-3276.


The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.


Back to School Safety Tips

Back to school safetyAs summer draws to an end and the start of the school year begins, road travel increases. This can be a dangerous time of year, especially for children.

Many children rely on walking, riding a bicycle, or taking a bus to and from school. Fewer daylight hours can make it harder for motorists to see these young students. Take advantage of the following tips to strengthen your traffic safety knowledge:

•    All passengers should wear a seat belt.
• All children should ride in an age- and size-appropriate car safety seat or booster seat.  until the vehicle’s seat belt fits properly (usually when the child reaches about 4′ 9” and  is between eight to 12 years of age).

School Bus:

•    Children should always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the  curb or to the school building.
•    Remind your child to wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
•    Make sure your child walks where they can see the bus driver (which means the driver  will be able to see them too).
•    Remind your child to look both ways to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing  the street.

•    Make sure your child’s walk to school follows a safe route with trained crossing guards at  every intersection.
•    If your children are young or are walking to a new school, walk with them the first week  or until you are sure they know the route and can do it safely.
•    Bright-colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.
•    Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
•   Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
•   Respect traffic lights and stop signs.
Following these simple rules can help to prevent accidents and will keep you and children safe.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.


Jamaica Hospital Offers Free Diabetes Prevention Program

Diabetes.meetingJamaica Hospital Medical Center now offers a free, innovative approach to treat patients at risk of developing diabetes. The hospital’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was created by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and is aimed at managing the health of individuals with prediabetes, or borderline diabetes.

There are over 79 million for people with prediabetes in the United States, a condition where a person has glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to indicate diabetes. When individuals with prediabetes do not manage their condition, they are at a high risk of developing type II diabetes, a condition that is largely preventable.

By adopting this nationally recognized prevention program, Jamaica Hospital plans to reduce the diabetic population in South East Queens. The goal the DPP is to help individuals reduce their weight through a healthy, low-calorie, low-fat diet and engage in at least 150 minutes of moderately physical activity every week.

Participants meet in a group setting on a weekly basis for 16 weeks. The weekly meetings are facilitated “Lifestyle Coaches”, specially trained and certified Jamaica Hospital Patient Navigators with strong interpersonal and group facilitation skills. The Lifestyle Coaches review and provide feedback to each participant on a weekly basis.  Each member of the group is expected to maintain weekly diet and exercise logs and get weighed in at each session. The sessions are completely customizable to the individual needs of the group and are run in English and Spanish.

After the 16 week program is completed, participants continue to be monitored by a monthly maintenance program to provide on-going support and motivation to continue a healthy lifestyle.

The results of the Diabetes Prevention Program have been overwhelming positive. Half of the over 3,000 participants in the national CDC program have seen a 7% weight loss through lifestyle intervention and 58% of the participants reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 71%. One of the reasons that the program is so successful is the group dynamic of the program. Through engaging and sharing experiences with others with the same condition, participants in the DPP learn to support each other and provide the necessary encouragement for success.

The DPP is open to all who meet the basic medical criteria. For more information about eligibility or to sign up for the Diabetes Prevention Program, please call 718-206-7088.

The content in this newsletter is intended to be informational only. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page.