Three simple family-oriented goals to overcome the complex problem of childhood obesity and related mental disorders have been offered by Kristopher Kaliebe, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine.
They involve limit setting to address the brain's "get more" drive strengthened through habitual over-consumption of temptations including highly caloric processed food, hyper-reality media and electronics, as well as excessive sitting.
His 3 "rules" of living promote physical and mental health for children and parents for both treatment and prevention. They are published in the April 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. "The pediatric obesity crisis arose from systemic changes in society and multiple dynamic interacting risk factors," notes Dr. Kaliebe. "It has been paralleled by increased mental health problems that seem interrelated." Childhood obesity correlates with attention-deficit /hyperactivity disorder, learning disorders, and academic underperformance as well as increased internalizing and externalizing disorders. "Moreover, many behavior patterns associated with obesity, such as sedentary lifestyles, excessive media exposure, and inappropriate diets, also correlate with a psychiatric diagnosis or psychological distress," says Dr. Kaliebe.His "rules," meant to facilitate healthy choices, are straightforward and practical.