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Jump Start: New Program Aims at Getting Severely Obese Children Treated More Quickly
Date:7/17/2014

of obesity treatment in children's hospitals.

The report, "2013 Survey Findings of Children's Hospitals Obesity Services," outlines why such programs are critical for tackling the nationwide health epidemic.

In Baltimore City, the problem is widespread. The City Health Department released statistics on a random sample of 2,143 students assessed for BMI by BCHD School Health staff-- more than a quarter (26%) of the children in the study were considered obese. Furthermore, for Pre-K and K students, the rates were significantly higher for obesity than for all other grades (31%).

Nationwide, more than one-third of children are overweight or obese, making it the most widespread public health issue facing children. Over the last 30 years, obesity rates have more than doubled in young children and quadrupled in teens.

Programs also report that childhood obesity has been identified as an issue of community need in their hospital's most recent community health needs assessment.

In 2005, Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital started one of the earliest programs with a comprehensive approach that also addressed the psychological components involved in being a child with a weight issue.

Through Weigh Smart®, Weigh Smart® Jr., Jump Start and the Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Evaluation and Management  program that partners with Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, MWPH is working to meet the growing health needs of our community and to improve the current and future health of our children.

The CHA report is a first step toward obtaining a better understanding of what works in weight management and what programs prove to be the most sustainable.

SOURCE Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital
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