Shaping Your Child’s Health

A new study at the University of California, San Diego, found that children who were exposed to a particular strain of adenovirus, a type of virus that causes respiratory infections and colds, were 4 times more likely to be obese than children who were not exposed. This research implies that childhood obesity could be triggered by a contagious infection – you might “catch” obesity in the same way you’d catch a cough or cold. On Friday, October 8, 2010, the show will feature a new segment called the Pulse. I’ll be joined by an expert panel to assess the implications of this research.

A new study at the University of California, San Diego, found that children who were exposed to a particular strain of adenovirus, a type of virus that causes respiratory infections and colds, were 4 times more likely to be obese than children who were not exposed. This research implies that childhood obesity could be triggered by a contagious infection – you might “catch” obesity in the same way you’d catch a cough or cold. On Friday, October 8, 2010, the show will feature a new segment called the Pulse. I’ll be joined by an expert panel to assess the implications of this research.

Although valuable, this study doesn’t change much about what we already know; that genetics, fast food, and lack of exercise is linked to the growing prevalence of childhood obesity. This information is far more substantial than the idea that Junior could catch the “obesity bug” on the playground – because as parents, we shape our children’s eating habits. Healthy living is a learned behavior. This means parents should not only provide a balanced diet to fuel their children’s growing bodies and minds, but also model good nutritional practices as an example. Your child’s brain functions like a mirror; they reflect you.


Your lifestyle is a crucial part of the environment that will shape every aspect of your child’s development. It’s an intimidating realization, but the good news is that you have help. Now more than ever parents have a wealth of information to guide them along their child’s diaper and toy-littered road of destiny. When I was growing up in the 1960s, my mom referred to Dr. Spock’s parenting books like Baby and Child Care and Feeding Your Baby and Child. Fifty years later, Dr. Roizen and I offer a modernization; we are pleased to announce our new book, YOU: Raising a Child.

In it, we explore how to create the best possible environment for your children. We address common medical issues, effective parenting styles, and biological and intellectual development. We provide accessible advice on teaching your child to actively resolve conflicts, learn from mistakes, and importantly, to enjoy playing! It’s impossible to protect your child from every type of illness or problem, but it is possible to navigate through these challenges with confidence and poise, leading your child to a healthy adult life.

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

Keep Reading Show less