Are You Hungry? Pediatricians Add A New Question During Checkups
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Kids all know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But plenty are just not eating those fresh apples, which is why America's leading pediatric group is recommending for the first time that pediatricians take time during checkups to screen all of their young patients to see if they are eating right and enough. NPR's Allison Aubrey reports.
ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: About 8 million kids in the U.S. live in homes where there's not always enough food in the house. But when these kids go for checkups, the signs of malnutrition are not always apparent. Pediatrician Sarah Jane Schwarzenberg, who co-authored the American Academy of Pediatrics' new policy, says families often shy away from talking about their struggles.
SARAH JANE SCHWARZENBERG: They're embarrassed, or they don't think the doctor would care.
AUBREY: It's not just about calories. Some kids may even be overweight but not getting all of the nutrients they need.
SCHWARZENBERG: Many families do rely on starchy, filling foods that may not provide all the vitamins and minerals they need.
AUBREY: With pediatricians asking more about food during checkups, the idea is to flag kids who need help. Allison Aubrey, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.