The Scoop on Helping Kids Stay Healthy with Dr. Sheila Carroll
By Nate Sleger
I recently had the pleasure of chatting with pediatrician Dr. Sheila Carroll about how parents can help their kids stay healthy in today's world. Dr. Sheila has been practicing medicine for over 20 years, and she's noticed some concerning trends.
"I'm seeing diseases that used to be mostly in adults creeping downward into children's lives," she told me. Things like weight problems, fatty liver disease, high blood pressure - issues kids rarely dealt with before.
So what's causing this health crisis in our youth? Dr. Sheila pinned the blame squarely on our "modern, well, the modern world really." Specifically, she called out highly processed foods and too much screen time:
"Our bodies weren't designed to handle these super highly processed foods. Then you throw in screens, which, you know, this is the first generation, I'm old enough that I, they call them being a digital native, like my son is 11. And he's never had a life without a screen."
Yikes. That's concerning. But it's not all doom and gloom. The good doctor assured me we can take action to get our kids' health back on track.
Her #1 tip? Cut back on liquid sugar.
"Don't bring it home, don't buy it, stop buying, you know, stop buying juice and stop buying soda."
A single bottle of Gatorade can have around 40 grams of sugar - way more than the 25 grams per day max recommended for kids over 2. And fruit juice is just as bad.
As Dr. Sheila put it, "Fruit juices are not good for kids of any age." No arguing with the doctor!
Her other top tips included focusing on health rather than weight, and leading by example as a parent.
"Do what you need to do, get help, get the coaching, get the help that you need so that you can show up as the model, the really good healthy role model that you want your child to see."
Wise words. We grown-ups have to walk the walk if we want to raise healthy kids.
Dr. Sheila shared so many more pearls of wisdom during our chat. To learn more about her empowering approach to pediatric health, check out her website at SheilaCarolMD.com or follow her on Instagram @SheilaCarolMD.
Let's work together to dig our kids out of those "health holes"! With Dr. Sheila's can-do attitude and excellent advice, I know we can start them on the path to health.