About the time we launched this blog last fall, several other children’s hospitals around the country were embarking on similar endeavors.
It’s been interesting for us to see the approach that each organization has taken and the different resulting blogs. Especially given the fact that, essentially, we all do the same thing – take care of kids.
One blog that we’ve been reading and enjoying is Seattle Mama Doc, the blog that Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson is writing at Seattle Children’s.
Her approach is quite different from ours here, but it’s interesting how many topics are important across the board. We’ve recently connected with Dr. Swanson and have agreed to some reciprocity of blogging between the two sites, when it’s appropriate to do so.
As such, we’d like to share a particular post from Seattle Mama Doc that not only provides unique perspective on the topic of childhood overweight and obesity, it features research conducted by one of our docs in the Division of Sports Medicine. It’s cool research – we did a news release about it when it first came out.
First posted by Seattle Mama Doc on February 12, 2010:
Recently, one of my teenage patients was in to see me. I’ve seen him a lot this year. I think about him nearly every day because I’m desperately trying to help him. I’m just so stinking worried about the choices he’s making. At the end of the visit, I said, “We’ve got a lot of work to do so I’ll see you in 2 weeks.” He responded, “You mean, because I’m fat?”
No, I didn’t. We hadn’t even talked about his obesity at the visit. We’d talked about all the other stuff clogging up his path to happiness, long life, good health, generous love and earnest support. He’s had a heap of trouble this past year. He’s run away from home about 4 times (once for over 40 days — his poor mom), he’s currently living in a shelter, he was using drugs, he was self-tattooing with an ink pen under his skin (eeeeep!), he stopped taking his daily medicines, he’s obese and gaining weight, he got an STD….it goes on and on. My worry is real and rational, you see.
But his comment at the end of our visit reminded me about how hard I work to talk to children and their families about overweight in ways that don’t alienate them. And how I obviously need to work harder. A new study points out the importance of letting kids know they are overweight.