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Child obesity a worry

TICONDEROGA The battle against childhood obesity will come to Ticonderoga this week.

The Dan Padula Memorial Fund will sponsor a pair of programs one for students and another adults at Ticonderoga Elementary-Middle School.

Dr. Michael Dimico, a pediatric gastroenterologist with the Vermont Childrens Hospital in Burlington, will discuss childhood obesity at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, in the school cafetorium. The talk is open to the public.

Dimico will give an overview of the problem and offer parents practical solutions.

Earlier that day Dimico will give a similar presentation to school faculty and staff.

In just two decades, the prevalence of overweight children ages 6-11 has doubled and tripled for teen-agers, said Rob Berrick of the Padula fund. The intake of convenience foods high in calories and low in nutritional value is up, while the activity level of our children is down. Obese children have shown an alarming increase in Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult onset diabetes. Then there is high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea.

The average American child sees over 40,000 TV commercials each year, with a majority promoting high-fat high-sugar foods. Each, on average, consumes over 150 pounds of sugar and drinks over 600 cans of soda a year falling short on the nutrients needed for growth.

Dimico is a graduate of Colgate University and Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He completed his pediatric residency and fellowship training in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at Columbia University. He came to the Vermont Children's Hospital at Fletcher Allen in January 2005.

FoodPlay!, an awarding-wining theatre show that focuses on nutrition, will visit the elementary school Friday, Sept. 21, at 9:30 a.m.

FoodPlay! features a cast of colorful characters, feats of juggling, motivational messages, music, magic and fun to make nutrition come alive for students.

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