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Kara Diersing Clapp, PhD, APRN
Family Nurse Practitioner
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Another Thought about my Day at the Water Park

Location: BlogsDoctor Kara's Blog    
Posted by: Kara Clapp 8/31/2011

Good Morning Readers!

Yesterday I talked about my day at the water park and how surprised I was that I looked more normal than not---that there were fewer normal weighted people and more overweight/obese people. I also mentioned some of the children who made me sad, because of their obesity.

Here’s why I am sad: those kids have more health concerns to worry about earlier in life. My worry about fatty liver disease didn’t start until age 45. Imagine what it must feel like when a 10 year old is told they have fatty liver disease. A 10 year old! One third of American children are overweight and 16% are obese. Who is that 10 year old? My money is on the child of an obese parent who has a lot of abdominal fat and also had fatty liver disease. In the past we didn’t worry about fatty liver disease because we thought it didn’t cause much problem. Boy were we wrong! Did you know its possible to have such severe fatty liver disease that you can need a liver transplant? I think its important to identify those at greatest risk before the damage is done. Once fatty liver disease starts, you must slow the progression down to avoid more serious complications. You cannot cure fatty liver disease, as far as we currently know.

Unfortunately a liver biopsy is still the gold standard for confirming the stage of fatty liver disease and fibrosis (scarring). I think there is much to be done short of liver biopsies for everyone.

First, look at the parents and their histories. If the parent has fatty liver disease, then screen the children. Look at the lipid profile, the BMI, and the lifestyle. If fructose and fatty foods are a staple in the diet, get rid of them. By the way, fructose is not your friend. Read for yourself and become a believer. Not only is it bad for the liver, but your pancreas doesn’t like fructose either.

Second, parents must set the example. Putting your head in the sand about your health problems will kill your kids. You may have developed diabetes at age 50, but your overweight children will become diabetic sooner. If you can’t do it for yourself, then start doing it for your kids.

Third, eating fresh foods is cheaper than eating bad foods and fast foods. Don’t believe me? Try the food co-operatives in Utah. My hubby and I cut our food budget in half by picking up a basket from the food coop every week and eating less meat. Not only does your wallet benefit, but so does your health and well-being.

To Your Excellent Health!

Dr. Kara

Copyright ©2011 Kara Clapp
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