Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brandon doctor, author offers advice on dealing with childhood obesity

John Monaco is a specialist in children’s health. He wants to motivate families to eat better.

John Monaco is a specialist in children’s health. He wants to motivate families to eat better.

BRANDON — Eldon Brown grew up on a farm in Lithia where the term "farm to table" served as a way of life, rather than a newfangled healthy buzzword.

As one of eight children, he shared chores like milking cows, feeding hogs and harvesting strawberries and bell peppers.

He attended "Strawberry Schools" Pinecrest and Turkey Creek, where children would forgo summer breaks in favor of having the winter months off to focus on picking strawberries. As a result of this practice, common in East Hillsborough from 1928 to 1954, he ate healthy and remained active as a youth.

Fast-forward to the new millennium and you find Brown watching his three grandchildren grow up around a plethora of fast food establishments in a time where video screens of all sizes compete with outside playtime and many families feel too busy for home-cooked, sit-down meals.

Facing these changing times, Brown joined the audience at Brandon Regional Hospital Pediatric Center's seminar on childhood obesity on Wednesday night.

Concerned for the health of his family, Brown wanted to hear what Dr. John Monaco, a pediatric intensivist, had to say about a growing problem that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says has more than doubled in children during the past 30 years.

"It's very concerning," said Brown, 80, who now lives in Brandon. "I feel like they are not getting the proper foods and exercise. We had to do it."

Monaco, who co-authored Too Small to Be Big with actor and talk show host Ricki Lake, said he wants to educate, motivate and inspire families to take action against childhood obesity, which he says affects as many as one in three children.

"It's gotten attention, but it's not getting any better," Monaco said. "People are empowered. They are in control to make a change and live a healthier life."

Monaco says parents should focus on five things: eating more family meals; being active for an hour a day; cutting out sugar; embracing fruits and vegetables; and reading food labels to become more educated on what you are eating.

Monaco added that a parent should be more concerned with a child's waistline than the child's overall weight, and moms and dads shouldn't allow kids to constantly weigh themselves.

Catherine Parker, a certified child life specialist, worked with the children who attended on identifying healthy food alternatives. She says parents need to stay regimented when it comes to what their children are consuming.

"There is a lack of discipline," said Parker, 24, who has worked in the pediatric intensive care unit at Brandon Regional Hospital for the past six months. "If a child doesn't want to eat something (healthy), parents say, 'Ookay, go eat potato chips instead.' "

The Childhood Obesity support group, which allows attendees to engage in an interactive group discussion, plans to meet again possibly as soon as March. For additional information, go to brandonregionalhospital.com.

Eric Vician can be reached at [email protected]

Brandon doctor, author offers advice on dealing with childhood obesity 01/24/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 24, 2014 5:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Datz to open in St. Petersburg, join the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art

    Food & Dining

    Now Datz news.

    Get it? Tuesday, Datz, the longtime line-out-the-door, oft-Instagrammed and -Yelped Tampa stalwart known for shock-and-awe sandwiches and oh-so-much bacon, announced it is coming to St. Petersburg.

    Lunch guest eat at Datz Deli at 2616 South MacDill Ave. in Tampa. Times files.
  2. Republican leader McConnell pulls the plug on latest Obamacare repeal effort

    WASHINGTON --- Sen. Mitch McConnell on Tuesday officially pulled the plug on the latest plan to repeal the health care law, telling senators they will not vote on the measure and effectively admitting defeat in the last-gasp drive to fulfill a core promise of President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, after the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as education secretary. DeVos was approved by the narrowest of margins, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie in a historic vote. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) DCSA119
  3. Lightning's Brayden Point could be perfect fit alongside Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov

    Lightning Strikes

    SUNRISE — Brayden Point ended last season as the Lightning's No. 1 center, thrust into the role as a rookie due to injuries.

    Lightning center Brayden Point (21) advances the puck through the neutral zone during Friday's preseason game against the Nashville Predators. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  4. For starters: Rays at Yankees, with Blake Snell starting, Wilson Ramos cashing in

    Blogs

    The Rays open their final road series of the season tonight at Yankee Stadium, which is also where they played their first of the season.

    LHP Blake Snell will be on the mound for the Rays, looking to continue his successful late-season run, in which he is 4-0, 2,57 over his last eight starts.

    Tonight marks Wilson Ramos' 55th start of the season.
  5. Cannon Fodder podcast: Considering Gerald McCoy's comments

    Bucs

    Greg Auman talks about Gerald McCoy's comments — both about fan criticism online and Donald Trump — in the latest episode of our Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Gerald McCoy, front, said Monday that he would love to have a conversation with any of the fans who take to social media to criticize him and his Bucs teammates. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]