I am Mirna Sabbagh, I am a dietitian working at a Pediatric Clinic in DHCC, I love my job and I love what I do because I believe that the best time to learn healthy choices is in childhood. I want to talk to you about childhood obesity, in case you have been told that your child is overweight or obese by your doctor or your child’s school.
How often do we see childhood obesity in the UAE?
The latest statistics shows more than 60% of the children in UAE schools are overweight or obese. I realize some schools do a BMI check and then inform the parents if the child needs nutrition counseling or intervention.
I also realize that parents after receiving such notification do one of the following:
1. Become too extreme or aggressive with the child, asking them to eat less or blaming their weight gain on their activity or fat shaming without being aware of the impact on the child for life and also not really understanding the core reason why the child is overweight such as: high calorie home made meals, high consumption of high calorie meals with the family, emotional eating, peer pressure, ect. This leads to tension at home and does not solve the problem
2. Some parents may not intervene thinking the issue will resolve itself as the child becomes taller and older, which is putting the child at risk of adult obesity and pediatric diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. So the risks of a child being overweight and obese need to be explained to parents and they should understand that overweight children often become overweight adults and develop health conditions very easy on.
3. Parents may take the child to a dietitian who does NOT have pediatric experience and the dietitian may be too restrictive leaving the parents and child with a cycle of yoyo dieting and resisting behavioral change.This unfortunately happens very commonly.
4. Some parents are simply not intervene because they are worried the dietitian visits will be horror stories and too extreme so they try to resolve the issue on their own which often does not work.
At myPediaclinic I ensure that you do not fall in any of these pitfalls. My approach with children is very kind and focusing on winning their trust and getting their agreement and then going into details on how to make small changes that are fun and make a big difference. I will tell you more below about the program we have.
At Mypediaclinic we do things differently:
We have a great 3 month and also 6 months program specifically for children at the clinic and we have seen amazing results. My approach focuses fully on:
1. Assessing the family history of obesity. Checking if parents are obese or siblings which means we need a holistic family intervention and not just the child
2. Assessing the parents and families knowledge of nutrition information and filling the nutritional information deficits and misconceptions
3. Assessing the Childs diet and seeing where we can make improvements on the specific diet
4. Explaining to the child their daily needs in a fun and interactive method
5. Gaining the child’s trust and AGREEMENT to participate in behavioral changes aiming at weight control or weight loss over a period of time
6. Explaining to the child how to make the right choices at restaurants, among friends, and when stressed.
7. Most importantly we explain to parents how to help, and how to talk to the child about obesity and how to allow the children to make independent choices.
I would love to see you and help you at the clinic. You can find out more about me and my approach on the following link
Book your appointmentby calling our clinic on 04-4305926 or clicking on book your appointment. The first consultation is 500 DHS and each follow up is 350 DHS. A very competitive 6 months and 3 months nutrition counseling packages are available for 2500 DHS (6 months) and (1900 DHS) 3 months.