Crossroad Health Center
5 E. Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Crossroad Health Center West
2859 Boudinot Avenue Suite 107, Cincinnati, OH 45238
Winning the Battle against Childhood Obesity
Tackling childhood obesity in a low income, urban neighborhood can seem like a near-impossible task. Yet 7-year-old Becca, a Crossroad patient since birth, has begun making a remarkable transformation.
From a very young age, Becca has struggled with her weight. At her 6-year-old checkup, her pediatrician, Dr. Debbi Borchers, was alarmed at the rapid increase in Becca’s weight. Hoping that some encouragement and advice would help, Dr. Borchers talked with Becca and her mom about steps they could take together to help Becca reverse or slow her weight gain.
“Combating obesity in children is so important,” Dr. Borchers says. “If overweight kids don’t develop healthy habits early, chances are they will end up obese as adults, and much more likely to develop diabetes and other serious health problems.”
Happily, this intervention has had tremendous impact on young Becca. She left Crossroad motivated to make healthy food choices. With the support of her mother, the entire family began making changes. Gone were the empty-calorie snacks and sugary drinks. But the real transformation was getting Becca into the kitchen to help prepare food by slicing vegetables, mixing salad and, most important, playing a role in making the family’s meals.
When Becca returned to Crossroad two weeks later and stood on the scale, she had lost three pounds! The joy that shone from her face was unmistakable. Becca now understands that her health matters – and that she is in control of her success. For the past year, Becca’s mother has proudly reported on Becca’s continued weight loss. In turn, Crossroad’s medical team celebrates Becca’s progress by making colorful banners and writing encouraging notes. From a young girl who was on track to becoming an obese adult, Becca has transformed herself into a poster child for successful and healthy weight loss.
Crossroad Health Center continues to work with children like Becca who struggle with their weight and don’t know how to make the changes that will lead to a healthier future. If you or someone you know is concerned about an overweight child, please contact Crossroad OTR at 513-381-2247 or Crossroad West at 513-922-4271.
Get the facts: Childhood obesity
There has been a dramatic increase of obesity in America’s children, with African American and Hispanic youth disproportionately affected. In fact, more than a third of children in Ohio are overweight or obese.
Obesity is linked to a greater chance of developing a variety of health problems. A child or teen who is obese is more likely to become obese as an adult. These children are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem. Other threats include liver problems, hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes. Adolescents in particular are more likely to have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes.
Crossroad Health Center works to decrease the burden of obesity by linking our patients with community resources that are affordable, accessible, safe and effective. Working with your healthcare provider is the safest way to find out what method of obesity treatment will be best. In some families, it may be helpful to include a dietitian, psychologist and an exercise specialist in treatment plans.
Since food choices and activity levels play an important role in managing weight they are usually the focus of obesity treatment programs. If you want to get started making changes to diet and activity, try this easy-to-follow method recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It’s called the 5, 2, 1, 0 approach. Here’s how it works:
5: Eat at least 5 fruits or vegetable servings every day. Limit 100% fruit juices.
2: Limit screen time (TV, video games and computer) to less than 2 hours per day.
1: Get at least 1 hour of activity every day. Go for a walk, play outside, dance or jump rope.
0: Get zero calories from drinks except for skim, fat-free or 1% milk.
[Sources include Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center website; National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality website]