Friday, September 30, 2011

Kids Sugar Cravings Might Be Biological‏

Do you have a child that loves sweets? Maybe you try and try to give them veggies and fruits but they always want something with sugar? Many do and Dr Jopling recently found this article on and wanted to share. It is very interesting and has some things that make you think....Click below for further links.

Ask a child if they like sweets and the answer is almost universally a resounding "Yes!" It's no surprise to most parents that kids love candy, cookies, sweetened drinks, and some kids have even been known to add sugar to a bowl of Frosted Flakes. But don't blame the kids, say researchers: It's biology.
Scientific evidence shows that children not only have a stronger preference for sugar than adults – but that sweet-tooth is
hardwired from Day One.
"We know that the newborn can detect sweet and will actually prefer sweeter solutions to less sweet ones. The basic biology of the child is that they don't have to learn to like sweet or salt. It's there from before birth," explains
Julie Mennella of the Monell Chemical Senses Center.  Unlike adults, who often find overly sugary things unpleasant, Mennella says kids are actually living in different sensory worlds than adults when it comes to basic tastes.
"They prefer much more intense sweetness and saltiness than the adult, and it doesn't decrease until late adolescence. And we have some evidence they may be more sensitive to bitter taste," Mennella says.
A reason for this may be that a preference for sweet, caloric substances during rapid growth may have given children as an evolutionary advantage when calories were scarce. That notion is supported by the fact that sugar doesn't just taste good to children -– it actually makes them feel good, too.
research has shown that sugar is a natural pain reliever in children, and many hospitals even put a sweet-tasting liquid in a baby's mouth during circumcisions or heel stick procedures to help lessen the pain.
When researchers gave adults and children water mixed with various amounts of sugar, adults preferred sugar concentrations similar to that of a can of soda, while finding higher concentrations too sweet. By comparison, children preferred at least twice that concentration, and younger children had virtually no limit.
"You can keep putting sugar in to the point where you can't dissolve it in the water anymore and they still like it," says
Sue Coldwell, a researcher at the University of Washington who has studied kids and sweets.
But there seems to be an age limit on the super-sized sugar preference.
Coldwell and her colleagues suspected that sugar preferences changed during adolescence. They checked a bunch of indicators, like body image and hormones, and then they checked bone growth. They gave the sugar-water test to adolescents while simultaneously
measuring a marker of bone growth in their urine. What they found was that kids who were still growing preferred sweets. Those whose growth had already stopped –- around age 15 or 16 — had taste preferences similar to adults.
Exactly how this all works is still somewhat of a mystery, but Coldwell says that one important clue lies in the discovery that growing bones actually secrete
hormones that can influence metabolism. Other well-known metabolic hormones like leptin and insulin have been shown to act on brain areas that control cravings and appetites, and even directly bind to the tongue, where they affect the preference for sweet tastes. Coldwell suspects that hormones from growing bones may be doing the same thing. In other words, it's not your kid's fault he raided the cookie jar – the hormones from his growing bones made him do it.
"I don't know for sure, but I am very suspicious that the bones are somehow telling either the brain or the tongue that there is energy needed for their growth and signaling for that preference to increase," says Coldwell.
That's not to say a kid can't overdo it. In a modern world of calorie overload and childhood
obesity, cravings for sugar are no longer the evolutionary advantage they once might have once been. But if the goal is to get children to reduce their intake of sugar, researchers say understanding the biology behind their cravings is the first step.
**Info from

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Parenting with Positive Guidance CLASSES!!

We are so excited to announce that Amanda Morgan is going to be teaching "Parenting with Positive Guidance" classes at our Willow Creek Office. Amanda has been a guest "blogger" on our site and has given us valuable information. Our doctors are so excited to offer such a great resource to our parents. Amanda has a Master's degree in Family and Human development and has worked with children and families in a variety of settings. She currently works part-time as a trainer and consultant for The Children's Center of Salt Lake, and full time as a mom to three boys. She also writes at Not Just Cute,a blog devoted to intentional whole child development.
  • Four sessions that start Thursday nights, 7:00 pm-8:30 pm October 27-Nov 17th
  • At Willow Creek Pediatrics Conference Room
  • $65 for individuals or $100 for couples
  • Sign up at the front desk or email to reserve your spot!
If you are looking for more positive parenting tools please contact us before the spots are gone! Thanks Amanda for this great resource!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Facts about HPV Vaccine

Lately we have heard of a lot of confusion and misinformation about the HPV vaccine. Here are some basic information and links to help you make a informative discussion on the vaccine. The AAP made this statement this past week.
 "The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation," the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. "There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement. Since the vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have been administered, and it has an excellent safety record."

Please feel free to discuss your concerns with any of our pediatricians and check out the links below for more information

What is HPV?

Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. More than half of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some time in their lives.
About 20 million Americans are currently infected, and about 6 million more get infected each year. HPV is usually spread through sexual contact. Most HPV infections don’t cause any symptoms, and go away on their own. But HPV can cause cervical cancer in women. Cervical cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths among women around the world. In the United States, about 10,000 women get cervical cancer every year and about 4,000 are expected to die from it.  HPV is also associated with several less common cancers, such as vaginal and vulvar cancers in women and other types of cancer in both men and women. It can also cause genital warts and warts in the throat. There is no cure for HPV infection, but some of the problems it causes can be treated.

HPV vaccine - Why get vaccinated?

HPV vaccine is important because it can prevent most cases of cervical cancer in females, if it is given before a person is exposed to the virus. Protection from HPV vaccine is expected to be long-lasting. But vaccination is not a substitute for cervical cancer screening. Women should still get regular Pap tests.
The vaccine you are getting is one of two vaccines that can be given to prevent HPV. It may be given to both males and females. In addition to preventing cervical cancer, it can also prevent vaginal and vulvar cancer in females, and genital warts and anal cancer in both males and females.
The other vaccine is given to females only for prevention of cervical cancer.

Who should get this HPV vaccine and when?

  • HPV vaccine is recommended for girls 11 or 12 years of age. It may be given to girls starting at age 9. Why is HPV vaccine given to girls at this age? It is important for girls to get HPV vaccine before their first sexual contact – because they won’t have been exposed to human papillomavirus.Once a girl or woman has been infected with the virus, the vaccine might not work as well or might not work at all. The vaccine is also recommended for girls and women 13 through 26 years of age who did not get all 3 doses when they were younger. Males 9 through 26 years of age may get HPV vaccine. As with females, it is best to be vaccinated before the first sexual contact.
HPV vaccine is given as a 3-dose series
  • 1st Dose: Now
  • 2nd Dose: 1 to 2 months after Dose 1
  • 3rd Dose: 6 months after Dose
How can I learn more?
  • Ask your doctor. They can give you the vaccine package insert or suggest other sources of information.
  • Call your local or state health department.
  • Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
For more information about the HPV vaccine Cervarix, click here
*info from and and

Friday, September 23, 2011

UTAH FAAN Walk is October 8th!

Saturday, October 8th at Wheeler Historic Farm, South Lawn 6351 South 900 East, Salt Lake City is the Annual FAAN Walk.  Registration starts at 11:00 am and the Walk begins at noon. 

The FAAN Walk is an awesome opportunity to help raise money for food allergy research and educational programs and to help raise community awareness...not to mention an exciting event to bring the family and friends to where everyone 'gets it' and the kids can play with no worries and make food allergy friends! There are lots of exciting things taking place on Walk day for everyone to participate in...Munchkin Radio will be there rockin' out, face painting, games, race cars, and lots more! 
We know many of our patients participate in this walk and we wish them all luck. Here is some more information about this from there website and click below for more info.

Because of the money we raised last year at the FAAN Walk, UFAN was able to apply for a community grant which helped fund the Utah Food Allergy Conference in June and we nominated a Utah school nurse who sits on the state board to attend the National Association of School Nurses Conference where she went to a special food allergy presentation by FAAN and brought the information back to other nurses in the state. 

UFAN would like to encourage everyone to create a team, tell your friends/family/neighbors/co-workers, raise as much money as you and your team members can, and then celebrate with us all at the Walk on Saturday October 8th!! You can also register as a 'virtual walker' to donate and fund raise without even being there!  

We need each one of you to make this year a success and we hope to be able to bring some of the money raised back to Utah to directly benefit you!
**Info from Michelle Fogg and UFAN

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Locks of Love and Good Bye Mykio!

We are so excited to show you pictures from Mykio's recent donation to Locks of Love!
Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.  "We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers"

For more information click on the link above. Also, we have another employee who is wanting to donate to Locks of Love and she would love to do it with a group of patients if anyone is interested please contact us by email or call our office and ask to speak to Amber.

GOOD BYE MYKIO!  Mykio has worked at Willow Creek Pediatrics for 10 1/2 years. She is a huge part of our family and we hate to say goodbye to her. She is going to be graduating soon and is leaving to pursue her career. We wish her the best and thank her for all the many years of service she gave our company. Mykio is the CO-Author of this blog and has spent countless hours to make this blog a success! We are going to miss her!! Good LUCK to our friend :)....

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fact Friday - And The Winner Is....

Congratulations to blogger "Kim" who left the following suggestion for our blog for the coming year:

"You guys are seriously the best! I would love to see some tips on dealing with the aches and pains and constant hunger that seems to come with growth spurts! Keep up the good work!"

Kim, your $50 Target gift card will be available after this monday 9/19. Please contact the office and let us know if you would like to pick it up or have it mailed to you!

Big thanks to everyone who entered the contest! We received so many awesome suggestions for post topics for the upcoming year! Hopefully we can fulfill all of the requests! We would also like to thank everyone who follows and contributes to our blog. You all give us a reason to continue doing what we do! We love our patients!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Willow Creek is hiring!

We wanted to let you know that our office has a full time front office position available. This doesn't happen very often and if you would like to be a part of our family here at Willow Creek Pediatrics we would love to hear from you. If you are interested in joining our fun, busy team please email your resume to or fax your resume to 801-944-1865

Monday, September 12, 2011

Reminder! Contest ends Thursday!

 Remember this week our "Birthday" contest is going to be over!!....Leave a comment telling us what you would like to see on our blog over the next year. Anyone who comments will automatically be entered in the drawing to win a $50 Target gift card! Leave your comments by Thursday, September 16th. The winner are will be announced on Friday, September 17th!! Who could not use a free $50 gift card?!! Thanks again for all your support of the blog. We have gotten so many great ideas and can not wait for the next year!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 - How To Talk To Your Children

As we remember the events of September 11, 2001, many children will have questions regarding the events of that day. It is hard for most parents to know how to answer these questions appropriately. It is important for parents to try and lessen their children's anxiety and reassure them that they are safe. The follow is the link to an article from the AAP with advice on how to talk to your children about the events of 9/11:

As always, if you ever have questions about how to handle these conversations with your children, feel free to contact your doctor!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Getting to know Dr Ryan Donnelly

We are lucky to have Dr Ryan Donnelly as part of our team at Willow Creek Pediatrics. Recently we asked Dr Donnelly some questions and here are his answers! Again--Welcome Dr Donnelly.

Where were you born and raised? I was raised in Loveland, CO. Loveland is about an hour north of Denver. I am the middle of five children and am the only person in my family to go to medical school. Growing up I had a lot of the same outdoor opportunities we enjoy here in Utah. My family also is involved in a variety of agricultural endeavors. I have spent a great deal of time riding horses, working with cattle, farming, ect.
Why do you love being a pediatrician? I have always marveled at the spirit and honesty of children. That sounds corny but I love that you can almost always get a smile out of a child even when they are sick. I also like that children do no hold back from exactly what they are thinking, and rarely do I find myself questioning their intentions. As a parent myself, I have always enjoyed working with families.
How many people/pets in your family? My wife, Claire, our two sons, Michael (6) and Drew (4) and my wife is due again in February. We have 2 terriers named Tilly and Friday as well!
Favorite things to do or hobbies? I spend most of my free time with my children. My wife jokes that I have kids just to have more friends! We like going to the mountains where we camp or I drag them on hikes. I also love building things and working with my hands. I aspire to do more road biking and cross-country skiing although I am a novice at best.
Favorite Food? I am a lover of all food!
Favorite book or best books you have read? I am not sure about a "favorite book", I like Kurt Vonnegut quite a bit. I recently read "Outliers" by Macolm Gladwell and really enjoyed it.
Favorite Vacation place? My favorite vacation has been to a small fishing village on the Yucatan Peninsula called El Cuyo. Completely secluded, authentic Mexican culture, and area rich in history and beautiful beaches.
One things on your "Bucket" List? I enjoy travelling but did very little as a child. I did not fly on an airplane until I was 18 years old and now have a young family; so I haven't seen near as much of the world as I would like. My goal is to visit every continent at some point, although I don't see that happening any time soon.
What is your pediatric history? High school graduation was only the half way point for me in my education. I obtained a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Colorado State University (4 yrs), then attended medical school at Saint Louis University (4yrs). I did my pediatric residency at Primary Children's Hospital here in Utah(3yrs) and then stayed at Primary Children's to be Pediatric Chief Resident (1 yr)

Thanks Dr Donnelly for letting us get to know you better! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy 25 Years, Traci!

Traci and her husband, Irwin, on a recent motorcycle ride

We would like to wish Dr. Jopling's nurse, Traci, a very happy 25 year anniversary! Traci started working at Willow Creek in 1986, with the intentions of working for a year to get some bills paid off. We are SO glad she stuck it out for another 24! We love Traci, and Dr. Jopling's patients do too! Congrats on 25 years!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor DAY!

The Willow Creek office will be open on Monday, Sept 5th to see patients with urgent problems. You can call the office after 9:30 to schedule an appointment or for medical advice. We will be back in the office for regular office hours on Tuesday, September 5th, if you are in need of medication refills or immunization records.

The doctors and staff of Willow Creek Pediatrics would like to wish you all a happy and safe Labor Day!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fact Friday - Traveling to and from School

With school starting up (or already started for many kids), it's time to start thinking about how your children are going to get to and from school. Here are some basic rules from the AAP to review with your children about their travels to and from school:

School Bus

If your child’s school bus has lap/shoulder seat belts, make sure your child uses one at all times when in the bus. If your child’s school bus does not have lap/shoulder belts, encourage the school to buy or lease buses with lap/shoulder belts.

Wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.

Do not move around on the bus.

Check to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street.

Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver.

Children should always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or to the school building.


All passengers should wear a seat belt and/or an age- and size-appropriate car safety seat or booster seat.

Your child should ride in a car safety seat with a harness as long as possible and then ride in a belt-positioning booster seat. Your child is ready for a booster seat when she has reached the top weight or height allowed for her seat, her shoulders are above the top harness slots, or her ears have reached the top of the seat.

Your child should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's seat belt fits properly (usually when the child reaches about 4' 9" in height and is between 8 to 12 years of age). This means that the child is tall enough to sit against the vehicle seat back with her legs bent at the knees and feet hanging down and the shoulder belt lies across the middle of the chest and shoulder, not the neck or throat; the lap belt is low and snug across the thighs, and not the stomach.

All children younger than 13 years of age should ride in the rear seat of vehicles. If you must drive more children than can fit in the rear seat (when carpooling, for example), move the front-seat passenger’s seat as far back as possible and have the child ride in a booster seat if the seat belts do not fit properly without it.

Remember that many crashes occur while novice teen drivers are going to and from school. You should require seat belt use, limit the number of teen passengers, do not allow eating, drinking, cell phone conversations or texting to prevent driver distraction; and limit nighttime driving and driving in inclement weather. Familiarize yourself with your state’s graduated driver license law and consider the use of a parent-teen driver agreement to facilitate the early driving learning process. For a sample parent-teen driver agreement, see


Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.

Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.

Use appropriate hand signals.

Respect traffic lights and stop signs.

Wear bright color clothing to increase visibility.

Know the "rules of the road."

Walking to School

Make sure your child's walk to a school is a safe route with well-trained adult crossing guards at every intersection.

Be realistic about your child's pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.

If your children are young or are walking to a new school, walk with them the first week or until you are sure they know the route and can do it safely.

Bright colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.

In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider starting a “walking school bus,” in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.