The importance of exercising after surgery

exercising after surgery

Whether you’ve undergone weight loss surgery or another kind of surgery, exercising after surgery is important for a quicker recovery and a more successful outcome. Exercise is a critical part of the healing process, and it has many benefits for people

Why it’s important to exercise after surgery

After surgery, it’s common for muscles to weaken and joints to become stiff from lack of use. For each week you don’t exercise after having surgery, it can take twice as long to regain strength in that area.

Additionally, the recovery time stated by your surgeon depends on whether you follow your post-surgery exercise program. Not exercising often results in a recovery period that’s longer than anticipated.

The benefits of exercise after surgery

Exercising after surgery provides numerous benefits for patients, depending on the specific surgery and the person’s unique situation.

While the following benefits are often seen in patients who exercise after having bariatric surgery, many of them are also seen in patients who exercise after having other types of surgeries.

  • Increased life expectancy
  • Reduced abdominal fat
  • Stronger muscles, bones and lungs
  • Reduced risk of disease
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced triglycerides
  • Higher good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol
  • Improved blood sugar control
  • Improved insulin control
  • Reduced risk of cancer
  • Increased energy
  • Improved balance
  • Improved appearance
  • Improved motivation and mental alertness

How to ease into exercise following surgery

Before beginning any type of exercise after surgery, you’ll want to check with your doctor and ask when it’s safe for you to start, what types of exercises are safe and how much exercise you should begin with.

While the appropriate time to begin exercise following surgery will vary, a walking regimen is the best place to start once you get the OK from your doctor.

When you first begin, your walks don’t need to be long or intense. Start with a short, casual stroll around the block. Do this every day and gradually increase the amount of time you spend walking each day, whether by increasing the distance you walk or the amount of time spent walking. In addition to increasing the duration of your walks, you’ll also want to slowly increase your speed as your fitness level improves.

The main point is to start walking as soon as your surgeon says it’s safe to do so and then start slowly, working your way up gradually.

Types of exercise to do after surgery

All exercise programs should include components that focus on endurance, flexibility and strength. This is also true for post-surgery exercise.

1. Endurance

As mentioned above, walking is a safe bet following most surgeries. As the walking gets easier, increase the length and intensity of your daily walks. Eventually, you can check with your surgeon about incorporating riding a stationary bike and/or swimming into your exercise regimen.

2. Flexibility

Stretching is an important part of an overall exercise program and offers many benefits. Stretching helps to improve flexibility and coordination, as well as increase blood flow to your muscles, which results in less soreness and more energy.

Begin with basic stretching exercises provided by your surgeon. You could also try a beginner’s yoga class, which is great for increasing flexibility, in addition to building strength.

3. Strength

Strength exercises are the third part of a well-rounded exercise routine. However, these exercises should not be started until you have been doing your endurance and flexibility exercises for a while and your surgeon approves adding them to your routine. Speak with your doctor about using exercise balls or weights.

Keep the post-surgery benefits above fresh in your mind so they’ll motivate you to stick with your exercise routine on the days you’re tempted to skip it. Making physical activity part of your daily routine will become easier and easier over time and will eventually become a habit that you won’t have to think twice about.


Preparing yourself for surgery with 5 easy to follow steps

If you’re feeling nervous about your upcoming surgery, don’t worry — there are a few things you can do to get yourself ready for surgery and the recovery process. Going into surgery feeling relaxed and confident will help you have a better experience and an easier recovery.

5 helpful pre-surgery steps

Following the five steps below will help you prepare for surgery and the recovery process. Putting in this effort beforehand will be worth it when you’re feeling calm and prepared on the day of your surgery.

1. Learn about the surgery

As early you can, get good information about your surgery from reliable sources, including Dr. Dirk and his team. Make sure you understand the expected outcomes, success rates for the surgery, the risks that are involved and the average recovery time. The more you know about your surgery, the better you’ll feel going into it.

2. Get some exercise

People who are active tend to handle surgery better and are more likely to have less pain, fewer complications and a faster recovery.

Talk to Dr. Dirk to find out which specific activities you can do before surgery. Depending on your current health condition and activity level, Dr. Dirk may suggest activities like yoga, stretching or walking.

3. Eat the right foods

Talk with Dr. Dirk about which foods you should be eating as you get ready for surgery. You may need to stay away from certain foods or drinks before surgery. You may also need to fast (stop eating) for a certain number of hours before surgery.

For certain surgeries, including weight loss surgery, you will need to change to a healthy diet after surgery to get the best results.

4. Stock your pantry and freezer

Be sure to fill your home with plenty of healthy foods and drinks before the day of your surgery. Not only will this keep you from having to shop during your recovery, but it will also help you stick to your new healthy diet after surgery.

If you run out of time to do this step, don’t be afraid to ask family or friends for help. They’ll be happy to pitch in, and you’ll feel good knowing you have people in your life you can rely on.

5. Arrange for help during your recovery

Whether or not you end up needing help stocking up on food before surgery, you’ll definitely want to line up family and/or friends to help get you through the recovery process.

Depending on the type of surgery you’ll be having, you may need a ride home or help doing daily tasks, such as cooking and cleaning. It can also be very helpful to have someone stay overnight with you on your first night home after surgery.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be surprised at how positive and in control you’ll feel on the day of your surgery.


The importance of teaching your kids healthy habits from a young age

healthy habits

Today, about one in three American children is obese or overweight. While these numbers are sad, the truth is that parents can turn this epidemic around by teaching their kids healthy habits while they’re still young.

It’s important to teach your kids about eating healthy and getting lots of physical activity from an early age. This is because people who learn healthy habits as children are more likely to live a healthy lifestyle for the rest of their lives.

If you teach your child to live a healthy lifestyle when they’re young, they are less likely to grow up to become overweight or obese. It can also decrease their risk of health issues that can develop due to being overweight. These include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, certain types of cancer and more.

How to be a healthy role model for your child

Here are six simple but powerful ways you can be a strong role model for your kids and teach them to live a healthy lifestyle.

1. Be physically active together

Regular physical activity is important for your kids’ growth and overall well-being. Encourage them to get moving by changing how your kids spend their free time. Instead of letting them spend hours watching TV or surfing the web, get the whole family moving! Ride bikes together, go for a daily walk after dinner or simply head into the yard to kick a ball around or play a game of tag.

2. Drink lots of water

Water — not soda, fruit juice or sweet tea — is the best thing you can drink to quench your thirst, and our bodies need lots of water each day to run smoothly. Plus, water doesn’t have added sugars like fruit juice and soft drinks do.

Make sure your children see you drinking water throughout the day, and give them plenty of opportunities to drink water too. Get everyone their own special water bottles in different colors and patterns to make it more fun.

3. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

Eating fruits and vegetables every day helps children grow and develop, and it can reduce their risk of many chronic diseases. Always keep fresh fruit on hand for a quick, healthy snack, and include fruits and vegetables with every meal.

4. Introduce new foods often

It’s important to introduce your kids to new foods and flavors regularly. Offer your kids the new food along with something they already like, and encourage them to at least try the new food. If they don’t like it after tasting it, they don’t have to finish it — but it’s important that they at least try.

Be sure to keep serving the foods your kids have tried and don’t like over and over. It can take as many 30 tries for your child to develop a taste for the food! This is a great way to get your child to try out all types of vegetables.

5. Eat healthy snacks

Healthy snacks help kids get all the nutrients they need, but not all snacks are created equal. The healthiest choices include fresh fruits and vegetables, reduced-fat dairy products and whole grains. Stock your fridge with things like apple slices with peanut butter, baby carrots with hummus, low-fat string cheese and hardboiled eggs. Limit or avoid snacks that are high in sugar or saturated fats, like chips, crackers and snack cakes.

6. Plan activities that don’t revolve around food

Instead of making eating out at a restaurant your main family outing, try to plan an activity that isn’t focused on food. Go bowling, take a painting class, go to the library and take out a bunch of books or go see a family-friendly play. The options are endless.

Not only will this create strong family bonds, it will also help your children appreciate things other than food, helping them to become well-rounded adults with a healthy relationship with food.

Starting a healthy lifestyle early in life is critical to giving your kids a shot at becoming healthy adults. Use the tips above to put your children on the path to living a healthy life in the long run.


Strategies for keeping your healthy lifestyle on track

It’s been proven over and over again that eating a good, nutritious diet and sticking to a daily exercise regimen is the most reliable way to lose weight and keep it off.

But committing to a healthy lifestyle is no easy feat. It’s a long journey, filled with speed bumps and occasional wrong turns.

So how do you keep up the hard work of living healthy? Here are some strategies to help you stay on track.

Lean on friends and family

Involving a few family members or friends can be crucial to finding the support you need on your journey. Find people who you trust, who you know love you and who will be non-judgmental about your new lifestyle.

Instead of eating a high-protein, low-carb dinner by yourself, invite your people over and share a dinner with them. Talk to your people about how you feel about your progress. Be willing to accept their support, and listen to what they have to say.

Bounce back from bad days

Discipline is key to a healthy lifestyle. But you will have moments of weakness, when you eat too much of something you shouldn’t or miss a few days of exercise. That’s OK.

The most important thing is to not beat yourself up about it. Just wake up the next morning and commit to eating your healthy meals and getting your exercise in. You’ll be surprised how much easier this journey is when you don’t blow your small mistakes out of proportion.

Keep a long-term perspective

On this blog, we’ve talked a lot about steering clear of “lose-weight-quick!” schemes and fad diets that promise fast results.

Here’s the truth: Losing weight and achieving your health goals will take time. Putting in the work over a period of time is the only healthy and effective way to lose weight and keep it off.

By looking at the long term, it’s easier to look past minor setbacks or seemingly slow progress. Keeping your expectations realistic means you won’t psych yourself out of a process that takes time.

Plan, plan, plan 

The sad fact is it’s easy to be unhealthy. When you’re busy with work, errands and family and friends, it can be simpler just to pick up fast food and veg out on the couch. Using your time wisely and getting ahead of daily stresses and tasks can help you keep your health commitments.

One example of this is meal planning. Instead of preparing entire meals every day, use the weekends to prep meals for the week. That can mean cooking enough chicken breast, salmon and/or tofu on the weekends to last you the week, and/or chopping all your veggies and packing all your salads for the week.

And the planning shouldn’t stop there. Always think ahead to make sure that, no matter what’s going on in your life, you can eat healthy and work out. Going on a vacation? Call ahead to find out if there’s a gym you can work out in. Having a dinner out with friends? Have a look at the menu beforehand to pick the healthiest item.

Be positive

Finally, stay positive and don’t dwell on negative thoughts. There will be lots of difficult moments on your health journey, but you’ll be surprised how much easier it becomes when you choose to be positive about it. You’re doing the hard work to improve your life — you have good reason to be happy with yourself.


4 Tips for a more effective workout

workout tips

Regular physical activity is crucial to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Dirk recommends daily exercise to burn calories and strengthen your muscles and heart.

There are as many different fitness routines as there are gym-goers. How do you know how to get the most out of your workout? Here are some tips to make your workouts as effective as possible.

Build up to more intense workouts

If the goal of your workouts is to shed pounds, build muscle strength and boost cardiovascular endurance, aim to gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Short, high-intensity workouts can deliver the same or better results than longer, less intense workouts.

Interval training is a great way to implement high-intensity workouts. Instead of slowly performing an exercise, then taking a 5 to 10-minute break to chit-chat or check social media, alternate between high-intensity and low-intensity exercises for 20 or 30 minutes.

Research shows that high-intensity interval workouts are vastly more effective at cutting fat and decreasing weight than steady state cardio. 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training leads to more weight loss than 40 minutes of steady-intensity exercise.

Focus on form

Before you ramp up the intensity, though, make sure you have great form. When exercising, you may feel motivated to add on the weights or go harder and faster.

But exercise form is the foundation of your workouts. Without good form, you won’t get the full benefits of an exercise, and worse, you’ll risk injuring yourself.

In general, align your body correctly and move smoothly through each exercise. Always be in control of your weights — don’t swing or jerk them around. Concentrate on slow, smooth lifts and equally controlled relaxing movements.

Perform exercises that pack a greater punch

Certain exercises are more effective than others. Why spend time and effort on less effective workouts when you can get more bang for your buck with others?

Some of these great all-around exercises include swimming, tai chi, strength training and walking.

Swimming takes the strain off your joints while delivering a strong calorie-burning, toning and cardiovascular health boosting workout. Tai chi focuses on physical movement coupled with mental focus and helps reduce stress.

Strength training is less about bulking up than it is about keeping your muscles in good working form. Plus, strength training allows helps you better manage your weight, since the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn.

Finally, walking is a simple, free and beneficial for everything from keeping your cholesterol low, strengthening your bones, maintaining a good blood pressure, keeping you in high spirits and lowering your risk for several diseases.

Listen to music

Research shows that listening to music while exercising actually has a range of positive benefits, enabling a more effective workout.

Listening to music can distract you from fatigue, elevate your mood, increase your endurance and may even promote metabolic efficiency.

Regular physical activity is part of healthy living. There are no shortcuts, but you can implement these effective ways to exercise to get the most out of your time and effort.


5 Daily Aerobic Exercises to Try This Spring

daily aerobic exercises

On this blog, we often talk about how eating a high-protein, low-carb diet is the key to weight loss. But diet alone isn’t enough.

Regular physical activity — specifically aerobic exercise — is also important to losing weight and keeping it off.

Dr. Dirk recommends doing 60 minutes of aerobic activity each day for weight loss.

What are the benefits of aerobic exercise?

Committing to regular aerobic exercise can help you:

  • Lose weight and keep it off.
  • Strengthen your heart.
  • Reduce health risks. Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes and even certain types of cancer.
  • Stay active as you age. Aerobic exercise keeps your stamina strong, and studies show that it also helps your brain stay sharp.

How do you start an aerobic exercise routine?

People who are overweight or obese are often nervous about starting an aerobic exercise routine. The key is to start slow. While 60 minutes of aerobic exercise per day should be your goal, you don’t need to do that much on the first day.

Instead, build up to it. For example, walk for 10 minutes on the first few days. Then, after a few days, start walking for 15 or 20 minutes. You’ll surprised by how quickly your body will adjust to aerobic exercise.

Build up to your daily 60 minutes of aerobic exercise, then continue with it. Soon, you’ll begin to notice the benefits of regular aerobic activity.

Always remember that the first day will be the hardest. Once you finish your first day of exercise, you’ll feel good about knowing that the most difficult part is over.

Five aerobic exercises for spring

Aerobic exercise doesn’t need to be complicated or boring. Here are five aerobic exercises that Dr. Dirk recommends trying this spring:

  • Walking. One of the simplest and lowest-impact forms of aerobic exercise is walking. Spring is a great time of year to start a new walking routine. Take advantage of the beautiful weather to take walks around your neighborhood, your favorite park, a local arboretum or any other place you like.
  • Jogging. There’s a reason why spring is marathon season. Try going for jogs through your neighborhood, around a lake or or anywhere else. Be sure to start slow and build up your stamina. If you can only jog for 1 minute, then jog for 1 minute and walk the remaining time.
  • Bicycling. It can be more exciting to bike than walk or jog. So why not hop on your bicycle and go for a morning or evening ride?
  • Rowing. Going to the lake is one of the best things to do in the spring. Instead of relaxing with a cool drink, try rowing. It’s a fun, outdoor aerobic activity that makes good use of your entire body. Just remember to fasten your life jacket and stay safe.
  • Dancing. Why not try an exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise? Dancing is a great way to get your body moving and your heart pumping. Consider taking a Zumba class at your local gym, or simply turn on your favorite music at home and enjoy yourself. You can even get your family and friends in on it. Throw a backyard party, crank up the tunes and dance together!

Eating healthy and exercising daily is a proven way to lose weight, keep it off and improve your overall health. While doing aerobic exercise may be hard at first, keep at it, and you’ll quickly notice the changes in your body and your mood.


The Health Benefits of Walking

health benefits of walkingFrom limited free time to sore joints, it’s easy to find yourself discouraged when it comes to daily exercise. The good news? There are plenty of low-impact options that don’t require an expensive gym membership. In fact, one of the best ways to kick-start weight loss and fight associated diseases like depression and diabetes is one of the simplest: walking.

What Can Walking Do For Me?

The real question is what can’t walking do. From heart health to lower blood pressure and regulated blood sugar, walking is a great way to benefit all systems of the body. A brisk walk taken daily (or even just a few times a week) is shown to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, as well as breast and colon cancer.

Walking is an easy, cost-free investment in your overall health. Not only does walking extend your lifespan by keeping chronic diseases at bay, but it also improves your quality of life: walking is a great way to trim your waist (and tone those calves, if you throw in a few hills) so you’ll feel strong and confident. The daily dose of Vitamin D that you’ll get from walking outdoors—as well as the rush of feel-good endorphins—is shown to be an effective antidepressant.

Walking and Weight Loss

Complicated workout plans are notoriously difficult to stick with. Walking at a moderate pace, however, is often enjoyable for most people, which means that it’s easy to incorporate into a daily routine. Whether you’re walking solo or with a group (don’t forget your favorite pet!), 30 minutes of brisk walking five days a week provides the aerobic exercise you need to help maintain your goal weight. Walking is especially beneficial for patients recovering from bariatric surgery, since it’s a low-impact, self-directed activity that lets you go at your own pace.

Getting Into a Routine

When you’re walking for fitness, you’ll get maximum benefits if you pay a little extra attention to your posture. Engage your core by standing up tall and looking straight ahead, and minimize impact by walking smoothly, rolling from heel to toe. Pumping your arms just slightly will keep those muscles toned, while choosing a few hills is great, low-impact form of strength training. Depending on your fitness level, you may need to work your way up to the recommended 30-60 minutes a day, five days a week. Just remember that, no matter where you start, the most important thing is that you do start.

Dr. Dirk’s weight-loss patients are often advised to embrace walking as an enjoyable way to keep weight off post-surgery. Whether you’re looking for lakeside trails or you march right through the center of town, incorporate the things you love into your daily walks to ensure that you stick with your regimen.


Are the U.S. Dietary Guidelines right for you? No, says Dr. Dirk

U.S. dietary guidelines

Every five years, the government issues the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are based on the prevailing body of nutrition science. These guidelines have a big impact on the nutrition choices that Americans — and people across the world — make.

Recently, however, these guidelines have come under fire.

The government relies on expert advice to determine their dietary guidelines, but many scientists and health and nutrition professionals complain that this expert advice fails to take into account the most current scientific evidence.

So why do the government’s dietary guidelines matter? And what are Dr. Dirk’s recommendations for eating a nutritious diet? Here’s what you need to know.

Why are the Dietary Guidelines for Americans important?

Since they were first issued in 1980, the goal of the government’s dietary guidelines has been to help Americans make healthy food and beverage choices, as well as to serve as a foundation for nutrition policies and programs that federal, state and local governments administer.

The guidelines also have a direct impact on the nutritional choices Americans make. Consider the famous food pyramid. Many Americans still make health choices based on the recommendations made by the pyramid, even though those recommendations are no longer current.

In addition, the guidelines affect nutrition education, food labeling, research priorities at the National Institutes of Health and public feeding programs, which one-quarter of Americans rely on.

The guidelines’ impact even extends beyond American shores by driving global nutrition policy, since many Western nations adopt similar advice.

How are the dietary guidelines determined?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are based on an expert report produced by an advisory committee. The committee is composed of 11 to 15 experts who review the most current science to make nutrition recommendations that promote health and fight disease.

After the advisory committee submits the report, the government’s health and agriculture agencies review the report and issue final guidelines.

Why do the guidelines fail to reflect current science?

Since 1980, the guideline process has been most susceptible to the outside interests of food manufacturers, food producers and special interest groups.

Because the guidelines have a major impact on the diet choices Americans make, lobbyists for the food industry work hard to promote guidelines that can benefit their bottom line.

According to Dr. Walter Willett, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, “The current system opens the guidelines up to lobbying and manipulation of data.”

While many doctors and scientists applauded some of the new guidelines for 2015, such as the recommendation to eat less added sugar, other guidelines failed to reflect the most current science.

How does Dr. Dirk view the dietary guidelines?

Like many other experts, Dr. Dirk has objections to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

According to Dr. Dirk, “The problem with the U.S. dietary guidelines is that they are built on bad science. It is very clear from current science that a lot of what we were taught about things like low-fat diets and red meat is not true.”

The dietary guidelines are particularly unhelpful for overweight and obese individuals. Not only does Dr. Dirk believe the guidelines are complicated and vague, but he and other Dallas bariatric surgeons also agree that the guidelines aren’t helpful for bariatric patients trying to lose weight.

What are Dr. Dirk’s dietary recommendations?

“Over the last 10 years, there has been significant research showing that a nutrition plan high in protein and low in carbohydrates is both safe and effective for losing weight,” says Dr. Dirk.

Dr. Dirk’s regimen focuses on a number of small high-protein, low-carb meals throughout the day. This regimen helps overweight and obese individuals lose weight and quickly heal from bariatric procedures.

Unlike the U.S. dietary guidelines, which fail to reflect the best science and which are not tailored to overweight and obese individuals, Dr. Dirk’s bariatric programs are scientifically sound and specific to the needs of his patients.

To learn more about Dr. Dirk’s nutrition recommendations, set up a consultation today.


Exercises for Obesity to Jump-Start Your Fitness Routine

exercises for obesity

The go-to mantra of weight loss is to eat healthy and exercise. But what if you physically can’t? For people who are obese, standard recommendations for working out just don’t cut it.

Trying to work out when you’re obese is tough. It already takes a lot of motivation and courage just to get off the couch and walk into the gym, but once you’ve made it that far, then what?

Here are some exercises for obesity to try that won’t break your spirit—or your back.

Walking

This low-impact cardio is often the easiest way to start exercising, whether at a gym or around the block. If you’re looking for more motivation on your daily stroll, try a pedometer. Turning exercise into a game can be great for your health.

Swimming or water aerobics

Swimming offers another opportunity for low-impact cardio. It’s easy on joints but also considered one of the most calorie-burning workouts out there. Being consistent with aquatic workouts can ease you onto the path to losing the weight.

Personal training

If your trying to avoid the various bariatric surgeries, you might try a personal trainer. This is the best option for someone who might have gotten off the couch but still feels intimidated when it comes to working out in public. A personal trainer, whether live in a studio or online, will offer workouts that work for your body type and level of ability.

Strength training

Strength and resistance training can be a good way to jump-start your fitness. Start on the machines that cause the least impact to your joints and then move up from there as you develop more muscle. Free weights and resistance bands are also effective for working your muscles.

Being active in other parts of your life

The more active you are outside of the gym, the easier it will be once you’re in it. This includes things such as housework, gardening, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away from the door and other small daily tasks that add up to a lot more activity during the course of a day or week.

If you’ve tried to get into exercise but find your weight won’t allow it, it may be time to get in touch with Dr. Dirk.


Soda and childhood obesity: Who’s to blame?

soda and childhood obesityWhen child obesity rates are in the news, it’s easy to place blame. One common target is the soda industry. With drinks packed with sugar and marketing directly aimed at children, it’s easy to see them as the villain.

In fact, the World Public Health Nutrition Association, World Obesity Federation, Consumers International and many other health initiatives from around the world are currently lobbying soda giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to stop marketing to children in lower-income countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

Because soda companies have recently increased advertising targeting children and adolescents in these areas, experts predict increased numbers of children (and adults) with type 2 diabetes, heart disease and more.

Dr. Dirk, a Bariatric Surgeon in Dallas, TX,  sees things a little differently. Sure, it would be helpful if soda marketing wasn’t directly aimed at kids, but at the end of the day, it’s a parent’s responsibility to make sure their children are eating healthfully. Being vigilant about what your child eats not only helps them avoid childhood obesity, but also teaches them lifelong healthy habits.

“I understand the concern and the natural urge to demand social responsibility from large corporations,” Dr. Dirk says. “But it is much more important for parents to recognize that soda consumption for children should be limited.”

Once parents understand and enforce this, the advertising won’t matter. Parents can teach children about nutrition and help them understand how to make healthy choices for themselves as they get older.

Another huge factor in this conversation is the amount of outside or physical activity children get. As it becomes more acceptable for kids to stay inside playing video games and watching TV all day, it is harder for them to maintain a healthy weight, soda or no soda.

Sugary soda consumption in children combined with limited outdoor physical activity leads to obesity, with its present and future attendant health risks and problems,” Dr. Dirk says. “To all parents, I recommend carefully watching your child’s soda, candy and junk food intake and their outside play time.”