May 6, 2014|
Angela talks with Dr. Gerald Berenson about his study on childhood obesity.
We're discussing the hot topics of the day with co-host of First Take, Todd Menesses.
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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
-- we have talked to regularly on this program about our fears for children who are already suffering from obesity. It's costing them their health how they feel about themselves. And ultimately it will cost of their lives. What can be done we keep asking will the answer may have always been in our backyard literally. The -- -- -- heart study is now in its 41 year a study that looks at the lives of children 'til they hit middle school. The findings were revolutionary 41 years ago and still far. Children as young as five to eight years old showing changes in their vascular systems. Precursors to coronary heart disease high blood pressure and hardened arteries. Now with decades of data. The founder of the vocalist to study is here to talk about what he has learned about the program. Created to battle obesity. But the program health ahead heart Smart. Also addresses social issues such as bullying violence teen pregnancy. And dropouts. Doctor Gerald Berenson is our guest for the next -- founder and chief investigator. Of the -- heart study. And director of the -- ruling center for cardiovascular. Health. And I cannot thank you enough for being with us. Only a short hour to talk about decades of work. But I do appreciate it. And I I almost hate to ask you to -- 41 years -- for search but if you could. Give us some high points. Angela thank you very much let -- coming on your show. And you know everybody is focusing on obesity. But it's more than that because it's general health problems. Not only what we eat the amount of access -- being socially. Will he has and in 1987. We were funded. To begin a comprehensive. Health education program kindergarten to sixth grade. To look at the problems of growing kids healthy. And original objective was to prevent heart disease based on the -- heart study finding. But when I got into this who that was office -- things that plague us a things like drop -- to Louisiana for example. The Picayune published at the dropout rate 88 parishes with something like 3538%. That is almost 40% of the kids don't finish crash to think. How we gonna arise from poverty. Nutrition problems. Exercise physical activity problems. And you know in contrast to worrying about obesity. Obesity is actually done us a favor strangely enough. Because they -- one someone focus on obesity. This Obama's got a obesity program Clinton as an obesity problem. Program. But it's now draw attention to the need for prevention. And we've been trying to do prevention based on the vote in this -- steady for the past two day. Gates. When you first start to getting the data back in. -- in 41 years ago 31 years ago whenever he started seeing some pretty eye opening evidence. That's what we were eating. Very young. Was was. On a bad -- to death really yeah. Suite that. We had a nutritionist. I have focused on health education. As well as developing better school lunches and so forth. And that's been one of our objectives from the very beginning. But that dates back to 1980 years so. And we've been trying and fortunate above those -- Teddy has been a framework. For our federal government to change. Living habits of kids we've been proud. Known as focusing on improved nutrition improve access. And strangely enough the budgets being cut so what they drop things like exercise. Our road is to try to. Improve. Health through education. And what we've developed in his heart Smart health and had a heart Smart -- is that really needs to be done nationally. Not just locally. And our problem is I'm not a I'm not a Schuett a teacher I'm not a health educators such although I've been. Educating doctors growing up in medical excuse for fifteen years I'm I'm basically a charity hospital doctors. And a lot of this came out of my training in chaired spent. I'm gonna go back because I think any of our listeners who were unaware of the vocalist heart study. You went to -- to -- where you grew up. Yes and you went to it was all children it was like thousands of children and you monitored you tell me how you did just well. The objective was to look at the total population of children. Our member when somebody from Johns Hopkins challenged me about your participation. I'd say 92 point 8%. Of all the kids we could identify the elusive. And 98% of the black girls he didn't ask me any more questions. People want to know why I chose bogus I -- that's where I grew up it's the only community there are really do. And that -- the support that we've gotten has been unbelievable. The doctors at. The children of families it's been amazing I can tell you some of the stories it. We do you know to show that the level of participation and support to -- -- from the community. But it was the largest study of multi race children ever in the United States. Well let's put it in the world in the world I'm sorry I didn't get enough credits that it's -- only I'm proud of that. It's only. Steady. From childhood. Of a black white population. And what's interesting is that the contrasts between risk factors that we find in black people compared to white people. Has give brilliant than a strip that I study. The Framingham study and -- -- uses all Caucasian. The most the -- studies all complication. The finish thirtieth youth is all Caucasian. Jackson heart study is all blacks but both those who was a biracial population. And that has given us clues to disease it's been extremely helpful. For example. Blacks have horrible hypertension. And diabetes. White man develop early coronary artery disease and harder to accept an early today. So those kind of contrast. To me is a doctor is a very important. So you would start with the first graders and then follow them to the second grade the third grade. All the way through. We started. In kindergarten kindergarten. And then someone published that you committed enough that type two type of type of broad Anemia that's one of the we found that wasn't correct so went back in -- did. Could a birth weights that is. And have we have now 9000. Birth -- that we got through this state Health Department which I think is an amazing. And I was able to do that because -- and working at charity hospital. So when you started seeing the things you've seen. That's when did you become alarmed. Course and and yet I wanted to jump into prevention. Back around 1985. And my colleagues said no we can't do that you've got to remain the same -- and a protocol. So they can be ended track and follow the changes have clash of as children Asian growth. That aging we're now up to fifty. You know we start in childhood but we have forty year history on a black white population which is amazing. I think he's great. And and it's largely -- Cooperation they've had from the both groups of people the doctors the patients in the -- I can tell you about some of them. Some of this support that we've had. You know one of the its most striking studies. Is an autopsy story imagine getting knocked -- she's on here it's a traumatic that is. And and we were able to pain. 8% of the known death in the area that means having a network with state police local police the marchers and so forth. But it just so happened that the Carner. Was a family practice doctors who took care -- my parents. Wins in turn is when out of town. And he wanted to become the coroner's jury came down to New Orleans in the department medicine where I wasn't really shoot and learn clinical pathology. Gardner. You know restart ahead in the end. It's all about -- you know. And it was your hometown. -- everyone to stay with us we're gonna continue talking with doctor Gerald Berenson. Incredible study he spent 41 years on and things that we're still learning and his efforts that he wants to applying now. Beyond obesity stay with the signing into law under the February. We are talking with doctor Gerald Berenson who is the the founder and keep on the founder of the chief investigator for the vote to loosen -- heart study that was done 41 years ago. But with and was way ahead of its time on many levels certainly recognizing that what we consume impacts. Our hearts but more than that our general health. And that is his concern today I'm understanding everything you're saying sir is that. It is beyond obesity it is the social issues that -- kids that we also need to address. You after the -- -- I mean it is and after but during the vocalist of heart study in 1987. You came up with a program health ahead. Heart Smart. And that was. To start correcting things and work on prevention. Try to prevent heart diseases. Generation -- we call the program -- Smart who was focused on prevention of heart disease when I got out in the spoof. I recognize it had to be broad. And we addressed in Paris to an environment. Now -- live curriculum and classroom curriculum for the kids. But a program for as it teaches for their own health. And also trying to get the family and parents involved in the health program. Because it has to address the entire family and the entire school. Not just a curriculum. Not just an exercise program not just no -- program. Many of -- prevention programs are honest self centered for example that their program is just for drugs. And many programs and not behavioral oriented. I had a wonderful staff. Who put this program together. Psychologist. Nutritionist exercise people are telling me what to do. For example -- warned that calendar because I knew that kids grow. And I want to increase that curriculum as it. Do children matured. A teacher said doctor -- -- a scope and sequence so we got a scope and sequence. It's been wonderful. And I can't tell you how lucky I have been with the people that have come to work with me not farming group we just didn't. Well it's a monumental contribution. And yet it it's not pretty much just in Washington parish. Of people have written to us. And we have it elsewhere but I don't have any documentation. Where they use our curriculum. Okay we can make the curriculum -- is not expensive. And we probably if if we had the training of the teachers. We probably can conduct a study like this for about fifteen dollars and Cha. Think at least been something between four and 6000 dollars for education of children. Here is a program that we've tested done a search on we know that the material. And we have approved for example in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My nutritionists and I went out to Albuquerque to see what they're doing and they actually trained yes I thought it was wonderful. So. Your goal would be if you -- national but even if we just started with a whole state Louisiana. Getting this program and every school you're saying roughly fifteen dollars a child. And it would be not knew going in with teachers monitor. Think about it they have. Today but that'd be effective get to mayor Landrieu to put this in the all the scoop to help control violent behavior are -- think. Increase in the workforce and and kids who are happy and so forth who more human. And we start in kindergarten teaching kids self esteem and words to live by as part of the -- caused the the element of self self it's me. Program to teach kids. To be healthy but socially. Not we have a nutrition program and a -- conflict exercises super -- super fit program. Now I think it's a best program in the nation. We'll just have to get it out there that consider that issue is how to be getting out there right. Where's the money where -- take some money. Because you're looking at me is the sole survivor. From the funding that we've had for a six years from NIH. And that has and -- it's been a year taxpayers' money. Before a fifty years. Through the heart association. Through the National Institutes of Health has supported this kind of steady. But it's it is also we're becoming just as the general population. So aware now of what is happening to children. In obesity and certainly the other issues too. But when it comes to obesity. The the numbers of children -- are now. Adult onset diabetics it's horrible it's horrible and and that. The you know were all glued to the stinking computers and and I love our computer but for heaven's sake. There's -- beyond and playing like they used it -- not getting the exercise they need. And it's got -- mean you know how I mean kids can be if if if that's the fat kid they're gonna make fun it's a whole the whole big picture of it. That needs the help. And you know is that a responsibility of the schools you're saying yes. I think it's we've put too much pressure on this proves to be responsible for parents are -- also. It really is -- a responsibility to the community. This is not just their curriculum and classroom curriculum but it's a general health program. The nutritionist to be improves the physical activity has to be. We need -- nurses and I could go on and on what we need -- education process. Give you an example of how difficult it is for someone like myself not known. And I wrote to mr. Obama we have an obesity program when that -- and she wrote back keep up the good work. Thank you for what you've done that we're not gonna give you any money. But thank you for what you -- everyone stay with this we're gonna continue talking about the issue of obesity the issue with kids health. With doctor Gerald Berenson who really is an international authority honest and don't hesitate to -- if any thoughts at all on what we should be doing. 2601. And seventeen mystic a break for news. We are back with doctor Gerald Berenson the on the founder of the vocalist heart study which as you know was -- is it 41 year old study that continues in a sense. Not where the children of both elusive schools -- at fifteen schools doctor Berenson in or monitor in Washington parish monitored. And from that you've gleaned that diet and exercise. Have been effective have been effective from his curriculum. And working in this news. And yet. It -- -- you're saying it should be all around the country correct. And yet it's gonna take a financial commitment not great if you say fifteen dollars per student that doesn't seem as you -- -- lot. It would also take the time how would it work. The teacher would do watch. Who teaches -- spend. Three days a week teaching that curriculum. Of a lesson plan. For about a half hour is politics. We have extensive lesson plans that are -- nutrition are excess. Our. Social behavior. That element ally is his so called it's me. Curriculum. Teaching kids self esteem beginning and kindergarten. Teaching them words to live back. To be good citizens -- whatever it takes and understand because. Overall the program can address things like violent behavior. And one of the problems in schools now as a lack of discipline. The difficulty of correcting cute. And I think to -- -- -- pretty broad because. For example in nutrition we just -- that there. The ladies whoever is preparing to school lunches in the cafeteria come visit the classroom. The classroom and teaches come visit the cafeteria. Just a simple exercise like that. So they both know the understanding what we're doing for nutrition. -- exercise program. Is training in the PE teachers. Of both I symmetric and and aerobic exercises. Had -- part of though both of them. Ridder. I'm an article by show stone recently advocating that people who do both the -- symmetric. He has Roman official says absolutely. Where do you think. Worry ever eating correctly in this country. He I guess so what we lost sight. I'll put it this way if I could write a good cookbook -- become famous. Now everybody is writing a cookbook. Put you focus on it's very simple calories. Calories do count. And if you exceed the calories based on your activity going get fat. -- 5050. Calories a day but -- will gain new five to ten pounds in the year. And we see that obesity beginning entry. Based on snacks with they eat the junk foods. I love ice cream in overdraft need it I can't eat likely now is that your two courts today. It down to one court event out when I went to medical screw and they kept track of our guy I was consuming drive to 6000. Calories a day but exercise in law. And. Spitzer is this firmer -- consumers have a right 101000. -- calories a day Marc Spitzer yeah. But he was working an off thinking I needed those camera -- but kids today are more sedentary. -- and computers. Up you conceive him with their therms. Movement on the time ago but it's and not that there aren't sports out there there there is sports but not everybody is a sports person it just were were not moving them enough. Carter tell you about that exercise component. I was then. Addressing all the kids the fat kids growing out of -- They're not chosen to participate in football player as a baseball. This. Has saved menu box of about 75. Non competitive exercise. That the teachers themselves can teach that -- -- has a PE teacher. You know and the beat teaches they themselves may not understand. The need for a calorie ballots. So education of the teachers. Learning how to address lifestyle and so is equally important. And then it's getting as we've done as such -- many shows on this issue. Intellectually we know a certain amount they can always learn more but we know a certain amount. It's getting the motivation to do it and you look at the kid and you say well you know what he's gonna grow out of that or you know it's just that stage of life. But the damage that's being done is the issue. We noticed that obesity even challenge -- which he's a vascular structure. Because we have to lose -- how to measure. Stiffness of the events of the flow of blood in the blood vessels. That we can measure that and that -- very early in life. The messages the bogus -- heart study came from a our autopsy study think how hard it is to do -- -- on cute that we. With the cooperation the community. 80% of the known death. We are able to -- autopsy. And we saw coronary artery lesions effective hypertension. He imparted to risk factors obesity. Coming through on the vascular system and this is up to age 23 when we first started. Oh my gosh -- As young as. Up to age 23. We now I have to where we can measure that life fortunately. You know. We have very simple apparatus that can measure vanished in the stiffness. We've tested out four of them for looking at things like hopefully velocity. And augmentation indexes things that we know. In in medicine. Unbelievable we're gonna continue our topic doctor Gerald -- right after this. We are talking with doctor Gerald Berenson. Of the -- -- a heart study were again. Once again trying to attack to issue of childhood obesity that is plaguing this nation and is costing. A lot to kids and ultimately to all of us. And we talk about these are critical. Issues that starting very young into adulthood. And as we -- all more conscious now I hate to even put a price on it but our health care cost this is all going to be part of doctor -- who was saying in the break about metabolic syndrome. For twelve to define net. It's hypertension high blood pressure. High insulin -- glucose levels high triglycerides. And that complex as a measure of the metabolic syndrome. But we've learned there are many other factors that we can now measure like information and so forth which are part of this metabolic syndrome. What we've found of particular interest. That insulin resistance. Doesn't begin until adulthood at least what we can measure the QB Steve begins in childhood it -- instances. Stint. So as a child if obesity is the issue it will more than in two insulin resistance. -- And become part of the metabolic syndrome. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh are you have a book -- and he was also saying that out of the 41 years Stephanie. 11100. Papers. 11100 papers an equal number of speeches. And five books. And you still rock enroll him but. This is incredible but I have a book -- my -- -- called you can fix the fat from childhood and other heart disease -- to. And the bottom line of this book is sort of a guide. To how to get healthy. I hope so he'll. And that's what it was intended the -- happened to show the children growing up healthy. Based on what we found in the -- starts to. The message is that did dealt heart diseases. That we seek clinically heart attacks hypertension. -- diabetes. All begin in childhood. We can begin to make these diagnoses. In children is silent disease. Sub clinical. And we can measure all. But we have a caller if we could take look for Metairie illness. I don't -- hit the -- -- 12 to hear him on. Okay. Yes and look. How can I am absolutely amaze behind you. The studies. Its intensity and just man made public or. And also -- -- studies. A subject that's part of the day. Over the the years. And those schools. Obviously starting kindergarten and followed them or they in the private sector and public -- are the selective. Selected through associate economic. Patterns. -- is just think about it and target correct he is stopped you. Do that people in the privates who have heart attacks. Hostages. In the public who think does that parents of those who were and they. The what do you get to -- his -- and so for that have heart attacks. This addresses into our nation. Because we lead the world with a harder tactics. Finland used to that they've done a wonderful job and we've been collaborating with the Finnish group. Who started with a steady on used. A few years after -- I've been a consultant over there and they have a wonderful program. We'll what are they doing that were not well I'm I'm I'm not that I'm I'm sorry yeah. And that's my question in year's study that you have actually used across the board you have gone into and and used yes subjects or in all categories of schools system. But the private sector usually. I had stipulations and don't does not participate. That you -- actually studied across the board every aspect of your society and Okaloosa correct. Also. When you go into. And the in. That the unintentional. I mean. We have a physical education. System that is absolutely useless because we -- we pay for physical education teachers. That after their pain they do not. They should be doing exactly -- you're promoting. And that there are not -- so we already have in place which are promoted and has called physical education. Why are we in. Asking these people to. Do the job that they're doing that there are supposed to be doing I mean we done to detain anymore money to anybody we should be just gone and doing what. If you can probably. Hear what you're saying yeah. Little we're gonna have to take into the break ancestor that we have another caller who wants to know where you can get the book. But I'm holding in my hand you can fix the -- which account where does one get -- book. I guess on the Internet on the Internet it is by Gerald as Berenson MD. You can fix the fat from childhood and other heart to heart disease is really appreciate those calls stay with -- we'll be right back. I want to thank doctor Gerald Berenson for the whole hour it's fascinating it's needed. And I tell you what I hope that Mitch Landrieu when you get together sit down and talk about what we can do just to help the New Orleans area. Hope you get that phone call answered thank you doctor Berenson you'll have a wonderful day.