Stories about: first lady

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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