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Episode 89: Impact Of Obesity On Children


Episode 89: Impact Of Obesity On Children


Last week, we were made aware of the prevalence of obesity in children as well as how to determine whether your child is overweight or obese. Today we continue our conversation with Dr. Leigh M. Ettinger around the impact of obesity on children and what we can do to it.

During Dr. Leigh M. Ettinger’s nearly 17 years as a pediatric nephrologist at Hackensack University Medical Center in Northern New Jersey, he saw more and more of his patients struggling with obesity. He dove into the medical literature to understand this complicated epidemic. After discovering the benefits of plant-based eating for weight control, he started sharing diet and lifestyle advice with his patients, community groups, medical students, doctors, and nurses. He earned a certificate in plant-based nutrition from Cornell in 2016. In 2017, he joined the staff hospital’s pediatric weight management program. In 2019, he became the Diplomat of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. When COVID-19 hit, Dr. Ettinger embraced telemedicine. In 2021, he founded the Doctor Herbivore practice, which offers telemedicine visits for pediatric obesity in New York and New Jersey, and also has a Facebook group for education and entertainment. He also runs a blog. And we’ll talk more about that as we dive into this discussion with Dr. Ettinger.



Key Highlights

Tune in to my conversation with Dr. Leigh M. Ettinger and learn:

  • The most common cause of obesity in children
  • Debunking the myth that children can outgrow obesity
  • The detrimental short-term and long-term effects of obesity on children
  • Why Dr. Ettinger recommends low-impact exercises for someone with obesity such as swimming or yoga or stationary bike
  • What impact obesity has on young bones and joints
  • Concerns about mental health issues among young people with obesity
  • Is it possible to be metabolically healthy even with obesity?
  • The greater risks of outcomes like diabetes or hypertension in obese children
  • 60% of teenagers with obesity have some form of obstructive sleep apnea, which can affect their grades 



“The problem is that our brains still thinks it’s making the right choice as we eat these highly caloric foods. ” – Dr. Leigh M. Ettinger





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