January 2012

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live with family Ask Doctor Mom The dish on vitamin D By Dr. Kari Hegemon In my office, parents often ask about nutritional supplements, especially to boost nutrition for picky eaters. Though I generally recommend a well-rounded diet over supplements, I make one exception for vitamin D. It's a vitamin we have to be particularly careful to receive adequate amounts of. Negative health effects linked to severe vitamin D deficiency include rickets and hypocalcemic seizures, but even chronic lower-level deficiencies can lead to poor bone health. Recent stud- ies also suggest an association with some autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and more. In the adolescent population, low levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. Obese children and adolescents Parent-to-Parent Personal trainer Shannon Maguire is getting teens moving and motivated By Mollie Busby For Shannon Maguire, it didn't matter what activities her teenagers did as long as they did something. It was no problem that her kids—now 15, 17 and 19—didn't show interest in the typical team sports that keep many teens busy today. To keep her brood active (and inter- ested), Maguire tapped into their fitness passions. Today, as a personal trainer and director of corporate wellness at Supreme Health & Fitness, she's using that experience to build a fitness program geared toward 11- to 14-year-olds. Promoting "strength, coordination and pride," Maguire knows that helping teens acquire healthy habits today can last a lifetime. Why is fitness an important component of teen health? We're trying to teach teens that personal fitness is a way of life. I don't want kids to think this is something they will do this week, this month or this session. I want them to know this is how they'll live their entire life. The goal is that they will find activities they love. What does a typical teen fitness session entail? Class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. We start with a warm-up and transition to weight training, racquetball, a relay or other activities. The sessions are catered to the kids and what they enjoy. What are some tips for keeping teens motivated? Get involved with your teen; do activities as a family and lead by example. Also, nutrition plays a huge part in teen motivation. I have fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks on hand. If fruit is cut and easily accessible on the kitchen counter, it's more likely to be eaten! 24 BRAVA Magazine January 2012 are at a greater risk for deficiency, as are exclusively breastfed infants and darker-skinned individuals. But all children in Wisconsin are at a higher risk because our long winters mean less sunshine, and our bodies produce a useful dose of the vitamin after expo- sure to sunlight. While vitamin D can be found in a variety of food sources including oily fish and egg yolks, many vitamin- fortified foods provide a bigger boost. Whether you're buying infant formula or products such as orange juice, cereal, bread or milk, look for labels that say "vitamin D fortified," which means the products contain at least the minimum daily dose recommended by the Ameri- can Academy of Pediatrics. Once it's warm enough to head back into the sun, it will be a little easier to get adequate amounts of vitamin D. But this advantage must be weighed against the risk of developing skin can- cer. In pediatrics, we suggest reaching for vitamin D-fortified products at the grocery store to provide a reliable boost for your child's health. Dr. Kari Hegemon is a pediatrician at Dean Clinic and mother of six.

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