Dr. Ramesh Sachdeva is a pediatric critical care physician who practices at Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. Among the topics Dr. Ramesh Sachdeva has presented on across a distinguished career is “Creating the healthiest pediatric population in the nation.”
Far simpler than suddenly changing bad habits in adulthood, setting in place healthy behaviors at a young age is one of the most effective ways of helping people avoid chronic disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) feature a multilayered approach to promoting health among children and youth that starts with addressing childhood obesity. With 12 percent of children age two to five obese, the CDC funds early childhood education (ECE) programs at local and state levels.
From ages six to 11, the obesity rate rises to 20 percent, and here the CDC marshals efforts to improve nutrition in school settings. One aspect of this initiative involves helping ensure access to nutritious and appealing school meals in breakfast and lunch settings. With only a quarter of teens attaining the 60 minutes of daily recommended exercise, another focus is on encouraging youth to be more physically active, both in school and after school, through cycling and walking programs, as well as competitive sports and physical activity clubs.
Unfortunately, 90 percent of adults who develop tobacco smoking habits tried their first cigarette before reaching age 18. This makes CDC Office on Smoking and Health efforts, which span community and family dialogue and education programs, as well as surveys that help monitor teen tobacco use, vitally important.
DR. RAMESH SACHDEVA - AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS EXECUTIVE LEADER