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About The Dalles chronicle. (The Dalles, OR) 1998-2020 | View Entire Issue (March 21, 2020)
Hood River News . The Dalles Chronicle
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE
Melody Acosta, a registered dietitian
nutritionist and certified specialist
in pediatric nutrition at MCMC,
stands among some of the colorful
toys given to young patients to
encourage active play. Contributed
Pictured: Michelle Ochsner, Mgr., Cody Grant, Jarrett Ball, Tanner Bacci & Kimi Franks, Asst. Mgr. Not pictured: Vickie Farley, Asst. Mgr. & Tara Ibbara, Asst. Mgr.
The Dalles Chronicle
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Colorful toys to encourage active play, such as hacky sacks,
hopping balls, and jump ropes, have been distributed to young
patients at Mid-Columbia Medical Center—much to their
The purchase of the toys was made possible by a grant that
Mid-Columbia Health Foundation received from the Juan
Young Trust to help combat childhood obesity.
“Every child who recently came in for nutrition therapy
has been given something fun to take home,” said Melody
Acosta, a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified
specialist in pediatric nutrition at MCMC. “And bigger toys
have been reserved for kids who follow through with their
goals. The patients have been loving their surprise toys!”
When a child is identified by their doctor as overweight,
the child may be referred to MCMC for outpatient medical
nutrition therapy. Through the program, registered dietitians
provide the necessary support and education to help the child
improve their health and eating habits.
The program, located at MCMC Water’s Edge, begins
with an hour-long assessment of a child’s current habits and
food intake. The entire family is invited to attend in order to
understand ways to help the patient at home. The families—
or the patients themselves, if they are older than eight years—
are asked to make a commitment to a lifestyle change.
“It might be something as small as ‘stop drinking soda’ or
‘eat breakfast at home every day’ or ‘eat vegetables at lunch-
time,’” said Acosta. “These small changes make a big difference
Shorter follow-up appointments of 15 to 30 minutes each
occur between two weeks and three months, and small goals
are set at each visit with a goal of decreasing the child’s body
mass index percentile.
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