Sunday 21 January 2018

Parents happy to receive advice on overweight kids

GPs have been reluctant to bring up overweight and obesity issues with mothers
GPs have been reluctant to bring up overweight and obesity issues with mothers

GPs have been reluctant to bring up overweight and obesity issues with mothers about their young children because of a fear of upsetting them.

However, one group of family doctors who tested how well mothers would respond when they brought their 13-month-old baby for vaccination found the response was mostly positive.

The study, in two different city practices, was headed by GPs Eithne Doorly, Claire Young and Brendan O'Shea of the Department of Public Health and Primary Care in Trinity College.

GPs had a talk with parents, measured the child's weight and gave advice on healthy nutrition and physical activity. A telephone follow-up interview with parents three months later assessed change in toddler diet and lifestyle.

Most lifestyle habits had improved at follow-up.

They reported fruit and vegetable intake of more than four portions per day increased from 20.5pc of toddlers to 28.6pc.

The number of toddlers cutting down on unhealthy snacks increased from 15.4pc to 21.4pc. Television watching of more than two hours daily decreased from 12.8pc to zero.

Supervised exercise of more than 30 minutes per day rose 69.2pc to 89.3pc The majority of parents reported at follow-up that they found the intervention acceptable and useful. Seventy seven per cent of parents never worry about their child's weight.

Use olive oil and live longer

It's not major news to find the Mediterranean diet is good for us. The problem has always been trying to make it more hearty for the Irish climate.

Latest research says it can extend our lifespan. It is associated with longer telomere length - an established marker of slower ageing.

The Mediterranean diet has a high intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes (such as peas, beans and lentils), and (mainly unrefined) grains.

The diet also features olive oil but a low intake of saturated fats, a moderately high intake of fish, a low intake of dairy products, meat and poultry, and regular but moderate intake of alcohol (specifically wine with meals).

Telomeres are the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that affect how quickly cells age. They shorten progressively throughout life.

Methods differ for temperature

You may think you know how to take a temperature, but are you doing it correctly?

You can buy a thermometer from your pharmacy. Several types are available. Digital thermometers can be used to take someone's temperature from either their armpit or their mouth. However, for children under the age of five, their temperature should be taken from their armpit as they may bite the thermometer if placed in mouth.

When taking an armpit reading:

put the thermometer directly against the skin under the arm;

hold the arm gently against the body;

When taking an oral reading:

be careful to place the thermometer correctly in the mouth;

check how long the reading will take.

What's a normal temperature?

A normal temperature is around 37ºC (98.6ºF), although it depends on the person, their age, what they are doing and time of day. A fever (high temperature) is a temperature of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or over. For children it is more than 37.5ºC (99.5ºF).


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