Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Taking the Hill at 15 Months!

Byline:      One Family's Approach to the War on
                  Childhood Obesity
Author:      Dorette Nysewander, EdD, “DrD”

If you are a sports enthusiast, love to be outdoors, or a parent, this picture has to give you an awe moment! Taking the hill at 15 months is no problem for the son of Gus Rodriguez, student enrolled in Kaplan’s Health and Wellness degree! Having served in the military Gus and his family are extremely active and enjoy a healthy work/life balance. Gus believes in taking his son with him no matter the activity. Well this day was all about snowboarding and was this tot eagerly ready for the challenge! 

Gus believes in good preparation for life, which involves healthy eating, fitness conditioning, challenging yourself and resting. You would think at 15 months one would be just learning to walk, much less trying to do pushing ups, climbing on jungle gyms and learning to snowboard. While not overbearing, Gus stated “There are too many kids sedentary and obese. My wife and I are determined to have our children experience opportunities for healthier options in life”.

In addition to a family’s pediatrician there are evidence-based resources in which families can depend. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has been putting research into “Family’s First” for many years now. Their belief is that a newborn’s environment can shape a child’s future and health for life. The RWJ Foundation has made a 500 million dollar contribution over the next 10 years to support healthy weights for all children (RWJF, 2015).   

The Foundation has made commentary on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee advocating for healthier environments and behaviors with nutrition and physical activity. This report is prepared and submitted to the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA). The Advisory Report is not the Dietary Guidelines policy or a draft of the policy. HHS and USDA will jointly release the 2015 Dietary Guidelines later this year.
Another evidence-based resource for healthy families is the Nemours Clinic. Their campaign “Live 5-2-1-Almost None” includes: Five or more fruits and vegetables, Two hours or less of screen time, One hour of physical activity, Almost none of items such as soft drinks, sports drinks, and fruit drinks that are not 100% fruit juice. This and other healthy resources are available to families for all aspects of childhood care.

The last recommended resource is the Early Head Start. This is a national program designed to help children and families with maintaining a secure environment, health care, early learning and school readiness.

Gus is currently retired from the U.S. Army, having served 22 years a Health Care Specialist, his career includes serving 5 deployments to Bosnia, Intrinsic action 97 and 3 tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Gus’ last assignment before he retired from the US Army was serving as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the White House Medical Unit responsible for routine and emergent care for the President of the United States, Vice President, their families, Cabinet members, Staff, Secret Service and over 500,000 visitors to the White House. His goal after graduation is to open a traveling medicine clinic specializing in lab draws, physicals and quality advice for people working or visiting other countries. With changes in technology and research happening so quickly learning current developments in wellness will make for a well-rounded professional especially when giving out advice.

To Gus and the Rodriquez family thank you for your service and sharing of your family’s approach to health and well-being.
                                                                                                                     — DrD, October 2016

Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center [ECLKC]. (2015). Early head start. Retrieved from http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/ehsnrc
Nemours Clinic. (2015). Live 4-2-1-almost none. Retrieved from http://www.nemours.org/service/health/growuphealthy/521almostnone.html
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion [ODPHP] (2015).  2015 dietary guidelines. Retrieved from
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation [RWJF]. (2015). Childhood obesity. Retrieved from http://www.rwjf.org/en/our-topics/topics/childhood-obesity.html


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