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Pediatrician Dr. Alejandro Clavier is working on reversing diabetes and childhood obesity for his Latino patients at Saint Anthony Hospital in Chicago.
In a recent article, Dr. Clavier says,”I tell my patients that if they can remember one thing, remember to drink water,” he said.
Dr. Clavier explains to his patients and their families the harm of sugary drinks and encourages them to only have water and homemade juices with no sugar available for the kids at home.
Latino kids experience a higher risk for diet-related diseases like diabetes, and studies show that about 74 percent of Latino children have had a sugary drink by age two.
Dr. Clavier encourages healthier foods in Latino homes, telling families to choose water and to remember that nothing is worth sacrificing their health.
He says the first step is to eliminate all sugary beverages and juices in their home and replace them with water bottles and from just this one small change, they will see noticeable differences.
“Sugary drinks are detrimental to health”, said Clavier.
He also supports acts like the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Act, which supports a penny per ounce tax on sugary beverages.
Dr. Clavier also hopes to encourage Latino families to stay physically active as a family through easy, weekly family events like cleaning the house together, walking up and down the stairs, or just playing games together. The key is to keep active and not to remain sedentary in daily life, Clavier explains.
Steps are being made to help encourage Latino families to stay active and drink healthy sugar-free options, but more is still needed to be done to create a culture of health.
Learn more about how you can help take action to reduce Latino childhood obesity.