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In response to recent articles written about a clinical research study performed by pediatric cardiologists in Texas, studying over 12,700 children, it was found that one in five children between the ages of 6-12 has elevated cholesterol levels and therefore the early stages of cardiovascular disease. Predominantly when this health issue is directly related to a deficiency in good fats, otherwise known as HDL, this points to the modern human diet. This is a year of opulence in most developed nations; there is no deficiency in access to health foods or any food for that matter. Unless you are one of the 15.3 million children living in food-insecure homes in America, according to Feeding America an non-profit organization, you have easy access to food.

The nation has developed a health pattern that reflects modern lifestyles back, yet propelling moderm society towards evolutionary change. Food, exercise, water and sleep define the human vulnerabilities- representing survival. The truest reflection of the present is to look at modern youth and how they are surviving. Grain Integrative Health recently and publically announced they intend to implement the 2014 criteria for cholesterol evaluation in children starting at age 9 years old. The doctors at Grain Integrative Health have varying opinions on whether this criteria set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics will be helpful. There are some dissenting opinions on whether scientists really know what the clinical ranges of lipids should be in a pediatric population since testing children mostly started trending with the childhood obesity epidemic.

Enter 2016 where there there may feel an obligation to consider the long-term implications of health choices in how our nation feeds our children. While most American children will select fruit-paste  filled pastries from their own breakfast cupboard shelves, parents must consider whether right now’s easy is worth the latter troubles. The cost is high on two levels- boxed foods are expensive and they are not vibrant living foods that feed our health. Dr. Courtney Jackson is a provider at Grain Integrative Health who offers nutritional counseling to parents of obese children.  In fact, Dr. Jackson runs an entire curriculum through the Food As Medicine Institute to address family eating habits.  She is an expert in helping families find access to programs and food that will heal a myriad of diseases. Dr. Jackson says, “Grabbing an apple or a carrot for a snack is a learned behavior. Real food is uncooked, or only recently cooked, colorful, textured and has complex flavors.”

Except in Portland, where food is equivalent to spirit; truffle hazelnut oil pairs nicely with sunflower roots and health is paired with shiny new yoga mats and saltwater sensory deprivation tanks. Portland is an emblem of how we must design our futures- the citizens of this city are savvy and wise- investing in their diet more than most. Health care is a complex system of nutrition at Grain Integrative Health- and the doctos now customize treatment to each patient and consider their genetic heritage and present day health concerns. Dr. Jackson works with cutting edge labs and is well-networked into the health care system that pairs so nicely with how Portlanders eat.

Another provider at Grain Integrative Health, Dr. Kates-Chinoy now offers comprehensive dietary evaluation for children with high cholesterol. The northwest primary care clinic, Grain Integrative Health clinic has rolled out a series of health programs in the New Year to address modern health care concerns in an age where convenience is often the priority. Dr. Kates-Chinoy found her way to the West coast in search of what she feels was her destiny-  to help families become healthy. She found her business partner Dr. Lindsay Baum in medical school. They were two of the unhealthiest students in their class and bonded over finding the humor in becoming a physician under the oath of Physician Heal Thyself. Together as students, they helped each other find health and then they envisioned Grain Integrative Health.

Responsibility played out looks like action. On a tour of the Portland farmers markets it is notable that patrons are able to fill an entire brown bag to the top with vegetables and fruits for around thirty-seven dollars, just like the doctors at Grain Integrative Health told us we could. At least in Portland there is hope for the youngsters of today. Appointments for the New Years are available with both providers at Grain Integrative Health where patients can choose from individualized health programs starting January 1st, 2016.

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