Author: Judy Palfrey, MD, FAAP

Preventing obesity in a big way

Judith Palfrey

Judy Palfrey, MD, FAAP, has been a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Boston since 1974. She is a general pediatrician and child advocate. She was chief of Children’s General Pediatrics Division from 1986 to 2008 and currently directs the Children’s International Pediatric Center.

Dr. Palfrey is the new president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which is the nation’s largest pediatric organization, with a membership of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists.

A week or so ago, I heard the story of a mother who was incredibly grateful to her pediatrician. She described her fairly typical family: 2 full-time working parents with 2 children.

Each day, she said, was crammed with rushing here and there with work and school commitments and little time at the end of the day for meal preparation. She described how with all the 21st century pressures, she and her husband were relying increasingly on pizza deliveries and drive-through hamburger stores for their family dinner.

When her pediatrician sat down and alerted her that her little girls’ BMI measurements were creeping up, she put into place several small adjustments: decreasing the size of meal portions, adding fruits and vegetables to meals and snacks, putting water instead of juice in their lunches and watching TV only on the weekends. She said that these changes were really very easy to do.

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The underreported pediatric stories of last year

Children_With_DisabilitiesChildren’s Judith Palfrey, MD, FAAP, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics writes about the most urgent children’s health stories that were neglected by the media last year:

This past year, the newspapers and blogs were full of stories about H1N1, obesity, autism and health care reform. These are all important and newsworthy topics, but there are other stories that are perhaps less flashy, but nonetheless have worth on their own merit.

As far as I am concerned, one of the biggest of these is the story of our adolescents and young adults with chronic conditions and disabilities. Quietly and without fanfare, as a result of the great innovations of medicine and surgery, the numbers of adolescents and young adults with significant health problems has been rising in the United States.

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The buzz from last weekend’s AAP meeting in Washington, D.C.

palfrey_judith_dsc7551Judy Palfrey, MD, FAAP, has been a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Boston since 1974. She is a general pediatrician and child advocate. She was chief of Children’s General Pediatrics Division from 1986 to 2008 and currently directs the Children’s International Pediatric Center.

Dr. Palfrey is the new president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which is the nation’s largest pediatric organization, with a membership of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists.

Here, she writes on the important issues discussed at last weekend’s annual AAP meeting, and she’ll be writing for Thrive regularly about issues important to health care providers, parents and children.

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