Dr. Ann

In 2009, 86 percent of all TV adds for foods and beverages targeted at children 11 years and younger were for unhealthy foods. Fast foods were the most frequently featured foods. (Protect your child’s health by limiting TV.) (Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, August 1, 2011)  A review of 53 studies looking at sedentary activity […]

The British Medical Journal (May 2011) reported that young children between the ages of 3-5 who slept less than 11 hours per day were significantly more likely to become overweight by the age of 7. Conversely, for every additional hour of sleep a night for children ages 3-5, the risk of being overweight at the […]

I promised to keep you abreast of the flood of new science related to vitamin D and health so here goes…. In a study that included 554 generally healthy middle-aged adults, those with lower vitamin D levels had stiffer arteries and poorer blood vessel function.  Those with full-fledged vitamin D deficiency had abnormal blood vessel […]

•In a group of overweight, previously sedentary school-age children who engaged in a 3 month study that included 40 minutes of vigorous physical activity after each school day – intelligence scores increased an average of 3.8 points with measurable improvements in math skills and enhanced activities in areas of the brain involved with complex thinking […]

In a study that included 479 school age children followed for 30 months, those with the lowest vitamin D levels at the beginning of the study gained weight more rapidly and accumulated dramatically more belly fat (the most dangerous type) than the children with a normal vitamin D status.  ( American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November, […]

As a family physician, nutrition expert, and mother of 4, I am delighted to share my top picks for the healthiest snacks for kids. Cut fresh veggies (baby carrots, celery sticks, bell pepper strips, broccoli/cauliflower florets, etc.) – serve along with a “healthy dip” like hummus, low-fat salad dressing, guacamole, or salsa. Low-fat yogurt – […]

Extreme obesity is affecting record numbers of children including 7.3% of boys and 5.5% of girls.  Those hit hardest are teenage African American girls (11.9%) and Hispanic teenage boys (11.2%) (Journal of Pediatrics, March 2010).  As a parent, here are the most powerful steps you can take to protect your child from obesity.   Related:   […]

Most infants in the US are not getting adequate amounts of vitamin D.  Among those exclusively breast fed, only 5% to 13% met the guidelines for 400 IUs of vitamin D daily.  For those formula fed, only 20% to 37% did.  (Pediatrics, March 2010).  In children, low levels of vitamin D have been associated with […]

Here are some of my favorite, healthy substitutions: 100% spreadable fruit for regular jelly/jams Trans fat free spreads for stick butter or margarines Part-skim or 2% cheeses for full fat varieties Omega 3 fortified eggs for standard eggs Romaine hearts for iceberg lettuce Ground turkey breast for ground beef Greek-style plain yogurt for sour cream […]

According to Consumer Reports (October 2008) many “kids’” cereals are more than half sugar by weight, and as would be expected, relatively low in real nutrients. A single serving of 11 popular brands provided more sugar than a glazed donut. (Keep in mind that most children typically pour at least 2 servings per bowl.) To […]