The American Academy of Pediatrics states that “over the past two decades obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled among adolescents in the United States.” Trinity Free Clinic is working to make positive change regarding this health epidemic.
Creating awareness about what needs to change in diet is the first step to a healthier child. So, our volunteer Registered Dietician, Kristine Grider, created a user friendly, 10-question survey for our pediatric patients. After completing the survey, our dietician assess if the patient is practicing unhealthy eating behaviors that could lead to detrimental weight gain in the future. Severe weight gain can lead to heart disease, diabetes, shortened life span, and most definitely a lesser quality of life.
By completing and going over the survey with patients, it opens up a conversation between the dietician and the patient about what eating healthy really looks like. It gives both the dietician and the patient a chance to reflect on how the patients eating habits will change their future wellbeing, for better or worse. Even small changes in diet, sleep hygiene, and exercise can prevent childhood obesity.
Kristine Grider is in the process of developing an education packet, in English and Spanish, that will help spark conversations about healthy eating within families encouraging them to make the first step to a better life.