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New Online Program Helps Parents Tackle Childhood Obesity

Alere's groundbreaking Healthy Kids Program offers tools for family health

- Childhood obesity at near epidemic levels; costs estimated at $14 billion annually

- Employers and health plans increasingly bearing the burden of costs

- First of its kind personalized solution that provides tools to help families reduce risk for childhood obesity and helps parents and kids become healthier

MARIETTA, Ga., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Alere LLC, a leader in personal health support solutions, announced today the introduction of Healthy Kids, a program designed to help parents and caregivers promote healthy habits for children. Launched to employer and health plan clients last week, this groundbreaking program is the first to provide parents with a week-by-week, structured approach to improving family health and reducing risk for childhood obesity.

A Pressing Need

Employers and health plans are increasingly bearing the burden of childhood obesity, which has reached near epidemic levels:

  • The national cost of childhood obesity is estimated at $14 billion annually.
  • 16 percent of America's school children are overweight or obese.
  • Medical treatment for children with obesity averages $3,700 per year.
  • Obese children tend to be overweight as adults further adding to the nation's healthcare expenditures.

The root causes of the problem are preventable: poor diet and inactivity. This presents a clear opportunity for organizations to move proactively to address the problem for their populations.

"Giving parents tools, information and behavior change strategies to help them improve the health of their children supports Alere's mission of providing personal health support," says Ron Geraty, M.D., CEO of Alere. "By promoting better habits for kids, we can help change lifestyle behaviors for the entire family."

A Personalized Solution

The Healthy Kids program provides parents with clear, easy-to-implement strategies that they can incorporate into their daily lives. Developed with a team of clinicians experienced in working with families to prevent and address obesity, the online program is personalized and includes a range of criteria, such as age, activity level, even frequency of family meals.

From week one, the program provides a "To-do List" of action items for parents. This personalized action list - which identifies the child or children by name - provides specific information about how they can make changes together. Tools and resources include online games and printable worksheets adults can complete with their kids. Younger children participate in fun activities that promote healthier food choices and active living, while older children learn valuable skills that can help them make better choices independently.

A Comprehensive Approach

The Healthy Kids program was developed to reflect Alere's philosophy of behavior change. This means focusing on realistic, sustainable actions that can help reduce risks. The program is offered as part of Alere's suite of wellness solutions, a comprehensive approach to personal health management that focuses on improving health based on the specific needs of each individual.

"Alere's core competency leverages clinical expertise and cutting-edge technology to improve the health of individuals," says Dr. Geraty. "The Healthy Kids program is an exciting new way to help our clients provide families with a path to better health."

About Alere

Alere( is a member of the Inverness Medical Innovations ( family of companies and represents the union of Alere Medical, ParadigmHealth and Matria Healthcare. Alere, a Latin verb, meaning "to care for" or "to support", offers the most patient-centered health management services available from a single provider in the industry. Alere(R) services provide health interventions that are designed for the entire lifespan from pre-cradle (high-risk pregnancy and NICU management) to end-of-life care (complex care) as well as the continuum of health from wellness (health and productivity programs) and prevention to total health management of the individual for those having various chronic illnesses.

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