There were no goody bags full of candy and Hershey kisses. No bowls of M&Ms or jelly beans. No chips or pizza. There weren't even juice boxes. Instead, there was a room full of smiling and laughing 2- and 3-year old children, with their parents.
If pediatricians want to improve children's health, they should start by changing how they advise parents to introduce solid to their infants. It's outmoded, overly cautious and at odds with current research on how good eating habits develop.
It was easier, even just seven years ago, to rear our children screen-free. It's far more difficult to moderate screen use now that the majority of parents have smartphones in their pockets, laptops in the kitchen and tablets near the couch.
If we're not able to solve the child wellness crisis we're currently facing, every other facet of our society will be impacted in the coming decades.
While the Affordable Care Act continues to badly stumble out of the gate, it is instructive to look at the last major change to our health care system -- the addition of a prescription drug benefit to the Medicare program.
Mothers are the most important and most powerful people in the world related to solving our childhood obesity epidemic. The only way an obese child can change is if the home and family changes, and that will only happen when mom says it will.
Not smoking is a simple way of reducing lung cancer risk. We don't need to take drugs with toxic side effects or get injections to prevent it. All we have to do is put out the cigarettes. So why are we setting ourselves up for another cancer epidemic, this time caused by obesity?
Besides advice on feeding babies, parents aren't given much support when it comes to the 18 long years they have to feed their children. As a result, many assume that food-related behaviors, like picky eating, are a cause for concern when most of the time they are a normal part of growing up.
The time has come for Americans to gain a fresh perspective of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). To do so, the first step is to clarify a few facts about the program.
I work out for over two hours a day. I eat "cleaner" than 99 percent of the people you know. I have not put any artificial ingredients in my body for over a year and have less than 15 percent body fat. But I have obesity. I will always have obesity. It is a disease I live with every day.
When it comes to weight problems, sugar and exercise are red herrings, for the most part. We have not come to terms with our collective addiction to the meat and cheese that are making us and our kids fat -- or when we lack the courage to confront the industries that sell them.
I am a pretty decisive person, but I love, LOVE movies, and I love wandering the aisles of a movie rental place, for an hour or more, trying to figure out what movie I am most in the mood to see.
These numbers simply don't add up to deficit reduction. Cuts in nutritional assistance today will lead to increasing health care costs in the near and long term.
Taylor Swift has the power to influence kids on an emotional level that can rival any popular celebrity today. Her endorsement of Diet Coke jeopardizes kids' ability to make healthy decisions and could lead to a doorway introducing our kids to the consumption of diet sodas and a relationship with the Coca-Cola brand.
We have long known that sleep is of profound importance to health. We can't be too busy to get the sleep we need, unless we are also too busy to get the health and weight control we want.
We are raising a generation of children who can use their parents' iPhones but not peel a carrot. And who prefer to quickly squeeze applesauce into their mouths through a pouch versus actually biting into and chewing a crisp apple. Food, which should activate and excite all of the senses, has become as flat and one dimensional as a pretzel.