March 23, 2010 ─ (BRONX, NY) ─ The National Institutes of Health has awarded Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University $1.22 million to combat childhood obesity in the Bronx. Working with Montefiore Medical Center, The University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for Einstein, a team of researchers will build upon their earlier work using education-based audio CDs in the classroom to encourage physical activity and promote positive lifestyle habits.
The prevalence of pediatric obesity has tripled in the past three decades and inner-city minority children have been disproportionally affected. In the South Bronx, nearly one in three children enrolled in the Head Start program, which provides educational services for three- to five-year-olds from low-income households, is obese. Almost half are overweight or obese.1
"After 20 years of medical practice in the South Bronx, I have come to appreciate the enormity, complexity and morbidity of the epidemic," said Philip Ozuah, M.D., Ph.D., chair of pediatrics at Einstein and Montefiore and principle investigator of the study. "The impact of obesity on children and their health is devastating and demands to be addressed."
Physical inactivity is one of the contributing factors to this widespread problem. Although the World Health Organization has identified physical activity in schools as an essential strategy to prevent childhood obesity, many schools especially in low-income areas lack facilities to implement the recommendation.
To address this reality, Dr. Ozuah and his team created a series of 10-minute audio CDs designed to encourage aerobic activity. Developed in conjunction with the New York City Department of Education and local schools, the education-based CDs coincide with the curriculum of each grade level. The activities are led by a teacher in a standard classroom setting and are meant to be a supplement to physical education classes and
|Contact: Deirdre Branley|
Albert Einstein College of Medicine