Prince George’s Co. official offers advice on children’s health

WASHINGTON — If you’ve got children, especially teens, home this week for spring break, it may be a good time to take a closer look at their food habits and activities — especially if you’ve got a family history of chronic diseases such as diabetes.

There’s a high rate of obesity and smoking in Prince George’s County, according to the latest County Health Rankings and Roadmaps report, and Pamela Creekmur, the county’s health officer, uses herself as an example of making healthy choices regarding food and exercise.

“My great-grandmother was a diabetic. My grandmother was a diabetic. My mother was a diabetic. I am a diabetic,” said Creekmur. “So even if I was 110 pounds … sometimes you can’t run from your genetics. With this deep history of that and the knowledge of that, I have to make different choices and I have to move so that I’m not debilitated by this diagnosis.”

She says there are risks involved in continuing to make poor choices.

“I can choose to act like its is not here, and long line of family members, and continue to do what I want to do,” said Creekmur. “But what do I put at risk? My plan to live a long time and raise some wonderful grandkids.

“I also put at risk my kidneys. That means I’m planning to maybe end up on dialysis, and kidney failure. So if we plan not to take care of it today, we’re planning for someone else to take care of us tomorrow.”

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