For the first time, show will feature children; Dr. Joanna Dolgoff is spearheading this effort to raise awareness and help curb childhood obesity.
Dr. Joanna Dolgoff was a practicing pediatrician with a problem that kept her up at night. She was concerned about the children she was seeing with dangerously high body mass index (BMI) levels.
As a pediatrician she was aware of the childhood obesity problem sweeping the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 17 percent (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years are obese.
She recalls expressing her worries to her grandfather about this epidemic. “Someone has to do something about this,” she told her grandfather.
Her grandfather responded, “Well you are ‘somebody.’ Why don’t you do it?”
His comment resonated with her and she began a journey that has landed her on The Today Show, Good Morning America
and The Dr. Oz Show
among many others. She’s been written about in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal
and a myriad of other publications.
Buoyed by her grandfather’s comment, Dolgoff left her pediatric practice, conducted extensive research and developed a nutrition program called, “Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right.”
The program teaches children and adults healthy eating and exercise habits to promote weight loss, maintenance and overall wellness.
The plan is based on colors versus calories. Foods that are healthy are categorized as green light, yellow light foods are moderately healthy and red light options are the least healthy.
The program has been designed to make healthy eating fun. Dolgoff’s mission was to empower children to choose their own foods. It is a family-based program but one of Dolgoff's goals was to remove the parent’s role as “food police” and give children the tools to succeed.
Dolgoff, who moved her main office to Garden City last spring, had no idea anyone would be drawn to her new practice focused on childhood obesity. “I hung up my shingle and waited,” she said.
The program has proven successful. A retrospective study found participants who followed the program for 16 weeks decreased their BMI by an average of 7.4 percent.
On a recent appearance on The Dr. Oz Show
, Dr. Oz praised the plan and stated, “Any child could benefit from this program.”
She is now the official pediatrician and child obesity specialist on NBC’s The Biggest Loser,
spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and member of the Pediatric Task Force for the American Board of Obesity Medicine.
Of her participation with the show, Dolgoff advised that NBC wanted someone with a medical background.
“They brought me on to make sure that the children weren't exploited,” Dolgoff said. "It’s crazy how this little idea has ballooned. The number of kids that have been positively impacted is so overwhelming.”
Her role on The Biggest Loser
has provided a national platform for her program but more gratifying is her work with the children.
Dolgoff has proven that she is “somebody” who has taken positive action in the fight against childhood obesity.
Dr. Dolgoff’s main office is located at 401 Franklin Avenue, Garden City. She has additional locations in Manhattan, Queens and throughout Long Island. For further information regarding the "Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right” program visit www.redlightgreenlighteatright.com or call 516-801-0022.
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