Is Obesity Having an Impact on Your Child’s Self-Esteem?

Obesity among teenagers is a growing problem in the United Sates. It is estimated that 31% of teenagers are overweight and another 16% 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.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

The Benefits of Coconut Milk

There is always something new coming on the scene that is healthier for you than other choices.  Lately, the buzz is all about the benefit of Coconut Milk.

Coconut milk can be a tasty substitute for cow’s milk.  Coconut Milk is found in the white flesh of fully ripened brown coconuts.  Like, cream, coconut milk has a thick consistency and a rich texture.

Often times, people mistake coconut milk for coconut water.  These two liquids are very different.  In fact, coconut water comes from less ripened green coconuts.

Some health benefits of coconut milk are:

  • Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Builds muscle and helps reduce fat
  • Is rich in electrolytes and can prevent fatigue
  • Can assist in weight loss
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves constipation

So, if you are looking for an alternative to cow’s milk, try coconut milk in your smoothie or cereal for a healthy change.

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

The Benefit of Exercise for your Child

The incidence of childhood obesity in the United States continues to be on the rise.  As a result, chronic disease, musculoskeletal issues and self-esteem issues are also on the rise.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), it is recommended that physical activity in children and adolescents consist of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day to help promote muscle and bone development.

There are various types of exercise that will benefit your child or adolescent.  Some of the more accessible types of exercise are:

  • Outdoor games, such as tug-of-war or relay racing
  • Walking to and from school (when possible)
  • Bicycle riding
  • Jumping rope
  • Martial arts
  • Sports (soccer, hockey, basketball, swimming, tennis, baseball)
  • Skiing
  • Dancing
  • Rollerblading
  • Skateboarding
  • Walking the dog
  • Aerobics
  • Gymnastics
  • Push-ups (modified with the knees on the floor)
  • Using resistance bands while exercising
  • Playground activities (swings, slides, etc.)

Too often children and adolescents are sedentary; spending too many hours a day on their smart phones, game stations, tablets or in front of the television.

Regular exercise promotes healthy bone growth, strength and mass, as well as raising your heart rate.  In fact, studies have shown that children and adolescents who exercise daily are prone to stronger muscles and bones, have  loser body mass index, are less likely to become overweight, have a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and have a better outlook on life.

So dust off the dance shoes, tie up your sneakers, take the bike out of the garage, put the dog on a leash and begin to get healthy!

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

High Blood Pressure? Check Your Salt Intake.

In the United States, one out of every three adults has been diagnosed with high blood pressure. It is a symptomless disease and is known as the “silent killer.” One step you can take to avoiding or controlling high blood pressure can begin with your diet.

A high sodium diet increases blood pressure in many people. Based on the recommendations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the amount of salt intake in your diet should be no greater than 2,300 milligram per day, which is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of salt. This can be easily consumed if you are not watching what you eat. You may be consuming them every day without knowing its potential to harm you, or your family, in the long run. Many convenience foods can be a culprit of containing high sodium content.

Some examples of the daily foods to avoid, which contain high sodium contents are:

  • Frozen Dinners and pre-packaged foods
    • Packaged deli meats/ lunch meats
    • Canned foods and fast foods
    • Soups and nuts
    • Spaghetti Sauce
    • Chips and dip

Some helpful tips to begin modifying your diet can include:

  • Creating a food diary to help keep track of the salt in the foods you eat
    • Read the ‘nutritional facts’ label on every food package and opt for a lower sodium version
    • Avoid pre-packaged foods and try using salt-free seasonings
    • Opt for fruits and vegetables to naturally spice up your food- onions, cranberries, and apple butter are some good examples of foods and products that can enhance your meal

Making the effort can be difficult at first but it’s worth your long term health. If you believe you are at risk of high blood pressure, speak with your physician and see if a low-sodium diet could benefit you.  If you do not have a private physician, please contact Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to set up an appointment with a physician.

For these and other helpful ways to side step hypertension, log onto www.webmd.com.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Parenting – Should Children be Paid to do Household Chores?

Many parents wrestle with the question of whether or not their children should be required to do chores around the house, and if so, should they be paid for it? There’s really no simple answer.

There are pros and cons to every method of administering an allowance to children. Some think kids should earn money in exchange for doing chores, others believe kids should not be paid for regular contributions that are expected of every family member.  No matter which side you agree with, the point of an allowance is to teach your kids money management skills.

Age appropriate, weekly chores, whether it’s taking out the garbage, emptying the dishwasher, folding clean laundry, cleaning the cat litter box, or light yard work like raking leaves, can help a child develop character. Paying them for their contributions also helps them to develop a respect for earning money.

You might decide on a definite set of weekly chores that your child must complete before being paid, or choose to make a list with a set price per chore and leave it up to them. Bigger tasks like shoveling snow, earn more money, and things like making their bed, earn less.

The method you end up using may not be what you started with, every child is different and the family dynamic and responsibility varies. However you structure it, be flexible. Even if you offer your child an allowance with no strings attached, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask them to do something periodically.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Alzheimer’s or Aging Naturally?

As you age, you may experience what is jokingly referred to as a “senior moment” when trying to remember why you entered a room or where you left your keys.  These moments are fairly common, but how do you know if your forgetfulness is the result of natural aging or Alzheimer’s?

Almost 40 percent of people over the age of 65 experience some form of memory loss without having any medical condition associated with it.  This process is known as Age-Associated Memory Impairment.  This condition is considered to be part of the natural aging process.

According to Alz.org, (Alzheimer’s Association) many things change as we age.  Our bodies and brain’s slow down and we are less physically and mentally flexible.  We may take more time to process information and experience some memory loss causing us to be forgetful of people places and things as we age.

Some signs of a naturally aging mind are:

  • Experiencing some memory loss, but being able to provide considerable detail when explaining the episode
  • Maintaining memory for important events, appointments and conversations
  • Occasional difficulty in finding words
  • Normal performance on mental status exams

Independent living and being able to conduct day to day activities and maintain interpersonal skills is also a reminder that you are aging naturally. As you age, it is beneficial to keep your mind sharp by remaining active, exercising, playing games that challenge your mind to think such as crossword puzzles or chess.

Conversely, Alzheimer’s disease is also associated with memory loss. This disease can affect people who are advanced in age or who are younger than the age of 65.  When early on-set occurs, the disease is referred to as either younger-onset or early onset Alzheimer’s.  Forgetfulness due to Alzheimer’s is not a part of the natural aging process.

Some symptoms and signs of Alzheimer’s are:

  • Personality or mood changes
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Misplacing items on a regular basis
  • Withdrawing from social situations
  • Difficulty finding the right words for specific items
  • Difficulty finishing a sentence
  • Losing tract of locations, dates or times
  • Asking for the same information again and again
  • Difficulty learning new things

If you are experiencing symptoms or displaying signs of the disease on an ongoing basis, it is recommended that you consult a physician who specializes in treating Alzheimer’s.   In order to diagnose the disease, the physician may complete a comprehensive medical evaluation which can include cognitive tests, brain imaging, neurological and medical exams.

Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease can maximize the benefits received from treatment and may help you to maintain your independence longer.  Therefore, it is highly advised that you seek the assistance of a specialist immediately.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Borderline Personality Disorder

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), borderline personality disorder is a mental illness marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, perceptions of self-image, and behavior. These symptoms often result in impulsive actions and problems in relationships. People with borderline personality disorder may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that can last from a few hours to days.

People with borderline personality disorder may also experience:

  • Mood swings
  • Uncertainty about how they see themselves and their role in the world
  • Quickly changing their interests and values
  • Viewing things in extremes
  • Having intense and unstable relationships
  • Impulsive or dangerous behaviors
  • Self-harming behavior, such as cutting
  • Recurring thoughts or threats of suicide
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Issues controlling anger
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • Feeling cutoff from themselves and others

While the cause of borderline personality disorder isn’t clear, researchers believe that genetics, brain function, the environment, as well as cultural and social factors may increase the likelihood of developing the disorder.

That being said, being in an “at risk” group does not mean that you will develop the disorder.  Likewise, you may not fall into any of the groups but that doesn’t preclude you from developing the disorder.

There are numerous recommended treatments for borderline personality disorder including, but not limited to psychotherapy, medications, as well as group, peer and family support groups.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting the traits of having a borderline personality disorder and would like to speak to a licensed mental health professional, please call Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Mental Health at 718-206-7160 to schedule an appointment

For more information on borderline personality disorder visit, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Chicken Pesto Kebabs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only thing harder than figuring out what to make for dinner is, figuring out what your children will eat for dinner.

So many times we prepare a wonderful meal only to see the frown on their faces when they say, “I don’t want to eat that.”

Well, worry no more.  Try this easy, child yummy, meal and watch that frown turn upside down!

CHICKEN PESTO KEBABS

Ingredients –

  • 3 cups – Tortellini Pasta
  • ½ cup – Pesto
  • 2 medium – Bell Pepper (red)
  • 2 teaspoons – Olice Oil
  • 1 ½ cups sliced – White Mushrooms
  • 6 pieces – Chicken Breast Tenders (cooked)
  • 15 Wooden Skewers

Directions –

  1. Cook tortellini according to the package instructions. Drain water and return to the pan.  Add pesto sauce and stir well.
  2. Chop bell pepper into bite sized pieces and add to a large skillet with the olive oil and the mushrooms. Sauté over medium heat until veggies are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add pasta with pesto to pan and stir to combine.  Remove from heat.
  3. Cube cooked chicken into bite sized pieces
  4. Once cooled enough to handle, skewer pasta, veggies and chicken

Keep in fridge until ready to serve

This is an easy meal and you can ask your child for their help with the preparation!

For these and other kid yummy meals visit – https://www.superhealthykids.com/chicken-pesto-kebabs/

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Do You Have Dry, Itchy, Irritated Eyes?

There are a number of ailments that can cause your eyes to be red, dry and itchy.  The two most common are Pinkeye and Dry Eye Syndrome.

Pinkeye, also known as conjunctivitis, is the redness and swelling of the mucous membrane that lines the lid and surface of the eye causing a discharge and can be caused by many things including, but not limited to, an infection, dry eyes from lack of tears or over exposure to wind and sun, chemicals, allergies and smoke.

Pinkeye is very common, is usually not serious, can be viral or bacterial, is highly contagious and can spread very easily. Therefore, preventing its spread is important.

There are home remedies such as removing your contacts and applying cold or warm compresses. These remedies may help reduce your pain and keep your eye free of drainage. Symptoms usually last 5 to 7 days, but some cases can last for up to 3 weeks.

Dry Eye Syndrome is a more chronic condition in which you don’t have enough tears to lubricate and nourish your eyes.  A lack of sufficient or quality tears in the eyes can be problematic since tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye, as well as providing clear vision.

According to the American Optometric Association, some symptoms of dry eye are:

  • Gritty, irritated, scratchy or burning eyes
  • The feeling of something in the eyes
  • Excess watering
  • Blurred vision

Dry eyes can develop for a number of reasons including environment, medical conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disease, aging, your gender or certain medications you are taking that can reduce tear production.

In mild cases of dry eyes, symptoms can often me managed using over the counter artificial tear solutions.

In either case, if symptoms persist you should seek medical attention.  If you are experiencing prolonged symptoms and would like to make an appointment to see one of our doctors, please call the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 for an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Winter Cold or Allergy?

The winter months can be challenging to your health. The drop in temperatures often results in symptoms that could be either a winter cold or allergies.

While many of the symptoms of colds and allergies are similar, the causes of each are very different.

Colds are contagious and they are contracted when a person is exposed to an individual infected with a cold virus.  Our body’s immune system will launch a counter attack against the virus. This response usually brings on the classic symptoms, such as a runny nose or cough.

An allergic reaction is caused by an overactive immune system that mistakes harmless things, such as mold or dust mites and attacks them. To combat what it thinks are germs, your body releases chemicals called histamines as a defense. The release of these histamines can cause a swelling of the nasal passages and result in coughing and sneezing. While many of the symptoms are similar, the easiest way to determine if you have a cold or are suffering from allergies is the duration of your condition. While most colds last from three to 14 days, allergies can last for months as long as the person is in contact with the allergen. Other differences are:

  • An allergic reaction will begin immediately after exposure to an allergen while cold symptoms usually take approximately three days to appear after exposure
  • A cold virus can sometimes cause fever and body aches while allergies never do
  • An allergic reaction can often result in itchy, watery eyes, which a cold rarely produces this type of reaction
  • Allergies are not contagious.

Once a determination between cold or allergy is made, the appropriate treatment can be applied.

There is no cure for a cold, but there are medications that can help alleviate the symptoms. Cough syrups, pain relievers, decongestant sprays, or multi-symptom cold relief medicines can all be used to help, but should only be taken after consulting your doctor, especially if you are taking other medications or if you have other underlying health conditions. Drinking plenty of liquids also speeds up the recovery process.

To treat allergies, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter antihistamine to block the reaction to the allergens. There are many forms of antihistamines and some may cause drowsiness so be sure to look for the non-drowsy formula or only take them at night. Decongestants may also be suggested to relieve nasal congestion and avoid an infection.

If you are not sure if you have a cold or allergies, please speak with your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center can help. To make an appointment, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.