33MD for April 14, 2009

POSTED: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 7:12pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:58pm

Could a new contact lens prevent some forms of blindness? A researcher in Spain has won the award for the best inventor in 2009. Celia Sanchez-Ramos added a yellow-pigmented filter to devices that sit on the eyes like contact lenses. She says the product works by filtering light so that it’s less harmful to the eyes. The lenses are designed to protect the eyes from short wavelength light.

As the childhood obesity rate skyrockets, doctors are becoming more concerned about the families leading unhealthy lifestyles. But a program in the Dallas, Texas area is helping parents get all the information they need to have a “lean family.”

Two-year-old Tucker is just one reason Kim Roach wants to know as much as possible about keeping her family healthy. “I want my kids to know what balance is in eating and play and really just every aspect of their life.” Kim is getting advice from Dr. LeAnn Kridelbaugh, who created the “Lean Families.” Program at Children’s Medical Center.

Dr. Kridelbaugh says, “We’re talking about nearly half of our population either overweight of obese and that’s not just a cosmetic issue. There are health problems associated with being overweight.” The doctor starts in the kitchen, “If you use peanut butter as a spread or a dip for the apples, they’re getting fruit and a protein and the protein will help the child have that sense of fullness a little bit longer.” Next we move to the nursery and the importance of playtime, “It doesn’t have to be all the same time, but we would like all kids to get at least an hour of active play a day.” Limiting time in front of the television is also part of a healthy family lifestyle, “Experts recommend no more than two hours of television a day for kids and no television before the age of two.” It is all part of an effort to reverse a troubling trend, “If we don’t turn this obesity epidemic around this may be the first generation of children that doesn’t live as long as their parents.”

Kim has no intention of letting that happen to her kids.