RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- Childhood obesity is recognized as one of the most pressing pediatric concerns of this generation. One in three children in the United States is overweight or obese. This puts kids at risk for problems that were once almost always diagnosed in adults, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and high cholesterol.
“Introducing children to a lifetime of healthy eating should start early, even before baby’s first birthday,” says Valley Medical Group pediatrician and childhood obesity expert Sherry Sakowitz-Sukkar, M.D. “Offer foods with a variety of tastes and textures, even if your child doesn’t like something the first time,” she advises. “It may take 10 to 15 tries for a child to enjoy eating a food item.”
Dr. Sakowitz-Sukkar is the founder and director of Healthy LifeWays: Valley’s Center for Pediatric Wellness and Weight Management in Park Ridge, N.J. The Center provides a comprehensive program of medical and behavioral health care, nutrition services and family support to help overweight and obese children and teenagers lose weight, improve their health and reduce their risk of developing chronic illnesses. In addition to Dr. Sakowitz, the program’s staff includes a pediatric dietitian/nutrition staff, social worker and support staff. Exercise coaches at affiliated facilities are also part of the program.
“Research shows that a staggering 80 percent of obese adolescents grow up to be obese adults,” states Dr. Sakowitz-Sukkar. “Our goals are to help our patients develop healthy mindful eating habits, engage in fun exercise and learn new behaviors to sustain a healthy lifestyle.”
To make an appointment with Dr. Sakowitz-Sukkar or for more information, call 201-391-0846.