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Group treatment may help children achieve healthier weights
Date:12/18/2008

resources, such as staff, space and materials. Parents may also take more responsibility for teaching healthier lifestyle habits and implementing the changes at home. In addition, children can avoid a possible stigma among their peers associated with attending weight-management programs and it may be easier for parents to attend the sessions without their children. Participants in the parent-only group attended 74 percent of the sessions compared with 63 percent attendance in the family-based group.

The UF study also has implications for the delivery of community-based treatment programs for children, particularly the use of Cooperative Extension Service offices, which exist in nearly every county in the United States, Janicke said.

"The Cooperative Extension Service network offers a unique setting in that it provides the infrastructure and stature within rural communities to support preventive services for families," he said.

Child weight-management studies in real-world settings like the one led by Janicke are extremely valuable and much too rare, writes Thomas Robinson, M.D., the Irving Schulman, M.D. endowed professor in child health at Stanford University, in an editorial accompanying the article on the UF study.

"We need to focus new energy on finding solutions to childhood obesity, not just documenting the problem," Robinson wrote. "This is the most direct way to generate the high-quality data needed to establish an evidence base for effectively and efficiently managing pediatric obesity."


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Contact: Jill Pease
jpease@phhp.ufl.edu
352-273-5816
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

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