Being a kid in 2021 is hard work. Kids have readily available access to all kinds of information, technology and media. My kids, ages 7, 9 & 10 know more about history, politics, animals, and our planet than I ever did at their ages. This is incredible! They are learning, absorbing and creating at rapid speeds. Along with all the information that is at their fingertips, kids are ALWAYS listening. I often wonder are their brains mature enough for the things they are learning, hearing and trying to process? Are we as parents, family members and friends modeling positive self-talk, love, and judgement-free healthy living?
Most of us have made comments or have been witness to someone else’s comments that do not model positive thoughts on healthy living. Have you or more importantly, your kids ever heard someone say “Oh she’s so skinny, she must be a picky eater?” “Wow! He’s a really big boy, he must really like to eat!” “I had too many cookies, that’s why my belly is so big.” Or how about in your adult circles? “Oh, I can’t have that, I am too fat already.” “I skipped lunch, I am having a big supper.” “I’m on this new diet….”
With all of the focus over the past few years on the growing obesity epidemic a new concern has been quietly emerging, disordered eating patterns. What may start as you need to cut back on calories can quickly turn into restrictive eating, an eating disorder, body dysmorphia, anxiety, depression or a low perception of self. But, did you know, health comes in all shapes and sizes? The number on the scale, the size of your clothing, or the height of your body doesn’t determine if you are healthy.
What can we as parents, teachers, family members and health professionals do? Obesity is a real and dangerous health concern that can cause long lasting and detrimental effects. Start with reflecting on how you view your own body and what you eat. Listen closely for how those around you and your kids talk about their bodies and food. Start to shift the conversation in your own home. Eat meals together as a family with a variety of colors. Shut down weight talk, even positive weight talk has been linked to obesity and eating disorders. Shift the focus off exercising to lose weight, but rather focus on the enjoyment and pleasure of being active and moving with those who you love. (https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/3/e20161649)
Being a kid in 2021 and 2030 and 2040 is going to continue to be hard work. An ever- changing world full of pain and hurt will forever be at our kids’ fingertips. As parents, teachers, family and health professionals we can make things a little easier for kids and others by teaching, modeling and encouraging about how amazing the different nutrients we eat are for our bodies, and how incredible our bodies are in the different ways they can move. This is what a healthy, vibrant community looks like.
Our Promise Nurse health coaches work one-on-one with individuals and their families in the clinic setting to evaluate health needs, environment and barriers to better health. In doing so, they help their patients establish a plan and guide them and their families along the way to achieve the plan. They also work closely with local and state resources to ensure that each person receives the support that they need.
One of the services our Population Health team here at Promise offers is Health Coaching. We offer free, high quality health coaching for individuals and families. All of the health coaching centers around you as the patient – your goals, needs, and input. Another service we offer is Nutrition Counseling. The health coaches at Promise Community Health Center provide healthy eating counseling through education on My Plate, the Mediterranean Diet, and 5-2-1-0. One other service we offer is Weight Loss Support. The health coaches at Promise Community Health Center are here to provide focused, long term support to help you identify your why and help you reach your goals. Our Population Health team also offers High Blood Pressure Assistance. The Population health team at Promise Community Health Center works in collaboration with your provider care team and our Pharm D to ensure that your blood pressure is managed. Our health coach visits are free to you and allow you to learn what may be leading to your elevated blood pressure, how to monitor it in your home and what you can do to improve your numbers.
The Promise Community Population health team believes your health begins at home and is a family affair! Our Population Health team here at Promise offers Family/Kids Nutrition Support. Our team works closely with parents and kids to help provide education, resources and support on how to build a healthy lifestyle. Our Population Health team also offers Prediabetes Prevention/Education, along with Diabetes Care. Through collaborative efforts with the medical team, Promise Community Health Center is screening and identifying patients at high risk for prediabetes. When identified as having prediabetes, the Population health team will provide education, support and referral to Diabetes Prevention programs. The nurse health coaches at Promise Community Health Center work in collaboration with the provider care teams and Pharm D to provide you evidence-based education, support and access to the resources you need to live a long, vibrant life.