I saw an overweight 8 year old in my office not long ago who complained, “I’m too chubby!” His mother told me she had been trying to adjust her family’s diet by cooking at home and not having junk food in the house. But she was frustrated because at school her son was eating school lunches made up of hot dogs, tater tots, fries and other foods full of empty calories.
As a pediatrician, I’ve heard this type of story several times. Many parents are struggling to serve kids nutritious meals despite having tight budgets and busy lives. They are trying to trade junk food for more vegetables. I applaud their efforts — 1/3 of our nation’s kids are overweight or obese. And more kids have diabetes than ever before. Eating well is such an important part of keeping kids from getting sick because they are overweight. And nutrition begins at home.