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Kaiser Permanente and Discovery Health Team Up to Fight Childhood Obesity Epidemic
Date:12/11/2007

Educational Program Designed to Assist Doctors and Parents in Prevention

and Treatment

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente and Discovery Health's Continuing Medical Education (CME) program have teamed up to launch "Healthy Steps to Treating Childhood Obesity", an educational program designed to instruct physicians and healthcare professionals about childhood obesity and the necessary steps to treat and prevent this epidemic. The program was funded through an unrestricted educational grant from Kaiser Permanente.

The CME program, co-developed by a group of Kaiser Permanente Pediatric experts and Discovery Health CME, will air on Sunday, December 16 at 9 a.m. ET/PT on Discovery Health and again several times through 2008.

"Childhood obesity is a multifaceted issue that requires a network of support from families, clinicians and entire communities," said Philip Wu M.D., Pediatric Clinical Lead for Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute's Weight Management Initiative. "Our goal in creating this program is to disseminate evidence-based recommendations to clinicians, who can then encourage families to start making environmental and lifestyle changes to improve the total health of their children."

"Discovery Health CME was pleased to work with Kaiser on this critical issue facing America's children. With our premiere just days after the new, aggressive childhood obesity guidelines were published in Pediatrics, the timing couldn't be better to provide health care providers the information they need in a succinct, engaging format," according to John Whyte, MD, MPH, Vice President for Continuing Medical Education at Discovery Health.
Highlights of the CME program include:

-- Recommendations to prevent obesity in children, including

age-appropriate physical activity and recommendations for a healthy

diet.

-- New weight classifications for at-risk or overweight children including

recommended screening procedures and appropriate medical tests for the

onset of conditions like diabetes and glucose intolerance.

-- Recommendations for individualized counseling techniques with

sensitivities to cultural values or stigma.

-- Behavior modification strategies that emphasize the level of family

involvement as a key indicator of success.

Collaborating with Discovery Health CME to create this program is one of the many creative tools Kaiser Permanente has developed to educate and arm communities to fight childhood obesity. In September, Kaiser Permanente launched of "The Incredible Adventures of the Amazing Food Detective," the first-ever, free, online bilingual video game designed to teach children how to eat healthier, get more active and manage the time they spend in front of the television and computer.

Sarah Barlow, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and author of new recommendations from an expert committee on the prevention, assessment and treatment of childhood obesity, strongly advocates addressing the problem through community, family, and school-based programs as well as healthcare programs. This broad, multidisciplinary approach is needed to change the behaviors of children and prevent progression to adult obesity and the serious health issues that accompany it.

"Childhood obesity in this country has skyrocketed to 1 in 4 children being overweight or obese. As a result, weight-related type 2 diabetes and other conditions, previously considered to be adult problems, are now emerging in children," Dr. Barlow said. "For the first time in history, life expectancy may be shorter for our children than their parents'. We need to look for new ways to reach out to parents and healthcare professionals to teach lifestyle changes and counseling techniques. This program is an innovative strategy to tackle the problem."

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is America's leading integrated health plan. Founded in 1945, it is a not-for-profit; group practice prepayment program headquartered in Oakland, Calif. Kaiser Permanente serves the health care needs of more than 8.7 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Today it encompasses the not-for-profit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and their subsidiaries, and the for-profit Permanente Medical Groups. Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente includes approximately 156,000 technical, administrative and clerical employees and caregivers, and more than 13, 000 physicians representing all specialties. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit the KP News Center at: http://xnet.kp.org/newscenter.

About Discovery Health CME

Since its launch in 2004, Discovery Health CME has offered innovative, flexible opportunities for physicians and licensed health professionals to earn free continuing medical education credit. The program incorporates the production quality and expertise of Discovery Communications, the clinical expertise of the nation's leading authorities on some of today's most relevant CME topics, the reach of the Discovery Health Television network, and a user-friendly website for physicians and health professionals, DiscoveryHealthCME.com.

Discovery Health Media includes the Discovery Health and FitTV television networks and online assets including http://www.discoveryhealth.com, as well as its Continuing Medical Education (CME) business and Discovery's first stand-alone VOD service, Discovery Health On-Call. Discovery Health Media is part of Discovery Communications, the number-one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 170 countries. Through TV and digital media, Discovery's 100-plus worldwide networks include Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, The Science Channel, Discovery Health and HD Theater. Discovery Communications is owned by Discovery Holding Co. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB), Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, Discovery's founder and chairman. For more information, please visit http://www.discoverycommunications.com.


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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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