Orlando doctor warns parents about 'milk and cookie disease'

Published On: Sep 13 2013 08:52:55 AM HST

A Central Florida physician writes a book about a common problem among children that she says can be solved with diet changes.

Parents know the nighttime sound of a child's breathing problems, and the worry of not always knowing how to deal with it.

After years of study Dr. Julie Wei of the Nemours Hospital for Children has identified a problem common to many coughing children -- what she calls the milk and cookie disease.

"It's really about dairy and sugar, so it's not just about milk and cookies," Wei said.

Wei found that children who snacked on dairy and sugar too close to bedtime had common chronic symptoms.

"They wake up and tell you their throat hurts," Wei said.

The cough, runny nose and throat discomfort are symptoms caused by sugar and dairy snacks that cause their stomachs to churn out irritating acids.

On her website, healthierwei.com, and in a recently published book, Wei encourages parents to cut out milk and cookies before bed. If kids must snack after dinner, she said parents should substitute for water and crackers or fruit.

"I'm not out to ruin lives with some bizarre diet," Wei said. "Have milk and cookies after school or on weekends."


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