As a father and a physician, I am thrilled to see the Obama administration addressing one of the most pressing issues for the next generation – the fight against childhood obesity. Michelle Obama’s initiative has made big headlines, bringing light to this urgent national crisis.


The statistics are shocking. Childhood obesity has nearly tripled in prevalence in the last 30 years. The extensive list of complications facing children who suffer from obesity includes diabetes, abnormal cholesterol, high blood pressure, asthma and sleep disorders. Even more frightening is the fact that these conditions are likely to follow children into their adult lives. The fat cells that children deposit at young ages stay with them as they grow. This means that extraneous fat cells will be impossible to remove and will burden these children for the rest of their lives.



Today on my show we welcome a young girl who is heading down that dangerous road. Lillie is 4 years old and weighs 85 lbs. We’ll sit down with her parents, Heather and Mike, and discuss the emotional issues that attribute to Lillie’s obesity. We will also lay out an action plan that focuses on making wellness a family affair. The example that Heather and Mike set as parents is essential to Lillie developing healthy eating habits.


Like so many, Heather, Mike and Lillie were struggling with these issues privately. However, there are some who battle weight and obesity under public scrutiny. Tomorrow on our show, we welcome pop singer and TV personality, Carnie Wilson. Carnie’s struggle with food began when she was only 4 years old. At such a young age, she was already dealing with sugar cravings. As her children grow, Carnie senses the urgency to take back her health. Tune in to witness the beginning of this transformative journey for both Carnie and her family.


The fight to end childhood obesity begins with adults. If you feel like your child may be obese talk to a pediatrician. They can map out an individualized weight assessment and if necessary, work with you to create a personal treatment plan. A healthy family is a blessing that comes with responsibility, as a nation, we need to step up.


For more information about Michelle Obama’s initiative, click here.

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

Keep Reading Show less