The Heavy Burden of Pregnancy

obese and pregnant

Dear Mr. Dad: Last week you talked about some pregnancy myths and you mentioned that expectant mothers should be more worried about putting on too little weight than too much. That makes sense, but isn’t there a limit to how much weight a woman should put on? Before she got pregnant, my wife worked out and we tried to eat a healthy diet. But over the past couple of months, she’s completely let herself go, putting on about 30 pounds—and we’re only halfway through the pregnancy. I’ve tried to gently tell her that she should watch her diet a bit more, but she insists that she’s “eating for two.” How can I get through to her?

A: A woman whose pre-pregnancy weight was in the “normal” range, needs to eat about 300 more calories per day than she did before. That translates into 25-35 pounds, which is the range recommended by most OBs. (Women who were underweight before pregnancy should put on a little more, those who were overweight should put on less.)

Since your wife will get weighed at every OB visit, her doctor will probably be chatting with her about her weight pretty soon. And given that it’s rarely safe for a man to talk to a woman about her weight, that’s a good thing. Still, at the pace she’s bulking up, she’s putting herself and, more importantly, her baby at risk. Unfortunately, she’ll need more encouragement to start cutting calories than her OB alone can provide, which puts you directly in the line of fire.
[Read more...]

Dr. David Samadi on the Dangers of Excessive Weight

Being overweight poses a very real health risk and should be an issue taken seriously by everyone. As a general guideline a person’s waistline should be their height (in inches) divided by 2, and should be less than 35″ for women and 40″ for men. Visceral fat, the fat located deep inside the abdomen, can [...]

Want to Lower Your Kids’ Obesity Risk? Get an Education

more educated parents reduce children's obesity risk

Who’d have thought? One of the best ways to lower your children’s obesity risk is to go back to school. No them, you! Poorly educated parents tend to eat—and feed their children—fewer fruits and veggies and more high-fat, high-sugar foods and drinks. Better educated parents do just the opposite, emphasizing healthy eating habits and providing more nutritious, lower-fat, lower-sugar, better-rounded foods, including fruits, whole grains, and vegetables.
[Read more...]

F is for Fat and B is for Blind

Dear Mr. Dad: My 7-year-old has always been a little chunky, but recently, his doctor said he was obese. I don’t want him to go through what I did in school, and I don’t want him to develop the health problems that come from being obese either. What can I do to help him burn some of that fat? Or is it just “baby fat” and he’ll burn it off as he goes through the next growth spurt?

A: Let me start with your last question: The baby fat excuse runs out of steam by around age two. After that, kids who are overweight or obese are at risk of becoming overweight and obese adults. So, while your son’s next growth spurt may slim him down a little, if your doctor says he’s obese, you’ve got a problem.

[Read more...]

Under Pressure: The Real Reason Our Joints Creeeeeak…

There’s no question that the cartilage in our joints wear deteriorates with age. But if you’re overweight, your chances of developing arthritis or joint problems–especially in the hips and knees–goes way, way up. Obese people are twice as likely as non-obese people to develop arthritis, according to Dr. Richard Iorio, an orthopedic surgeon and a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

[Read more...]

Dads: Don’t want to exercise? Okay. But do it anyway–for your kids.

A lot of men say that becoming dads gave them something to live for. That attitude shows up in a number of studies that show that fathers are less likely to get involved in criminal activity, and that they often give up unhealthy habits (like smoking) and risky behavior (like bungee jumping or running red lights).

But for a lot of dads, the stress of trying to balance work and family really takes a toll. On average, men put on an average of more than 20 pounds after becoming fathers. And a just-published study found that 60 percent of fathers are so overweight that they may be jeopardizing their health.

[Read more...]