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Structured weight loss program helps kids from low-income families lower BMI
Date:3/12/2013

Philadelphia, PA, March 13, 2013 Overweight and obese children in low-income households can meet or exceed the Expert Committee Recommendations Regarding the Prevention, Assessment, and Treatment of Childhood and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity when given access to a structured weight management program, according to a new study published in Academic Pediatrics.

The epidemic of overweight and obesity in the United States affects children, particularly those in low-income families, where they are at higher risk due to unhealthy diets and consumption of higher calorie, high-fat foods and sweetened drinks with limited opportunities for daily physical activity. If left untreated, these conditions are likely to extend into adulthood, placing the child at higher risk for obesity-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

The state of Tennessee has struggled with this issue and ranked fifth highest for child obesity in the 2007 National Children's Health Survey. The year before, Tennessee Medicaid (TennCare) partnered with the international commercial weight loss program, Weight Watchers, to help treat obesity. Through the TennCare Weight Watchers Partnership Program overweight and obese TennCare recipients under the age of 21 were able to participate with no out-of-pocket cost.

A group of researchers led by the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, CO evaluated the weight change of 280 qualified participants aged 10 to 17 years old, who were referred by their health care providers to participate in the program.

"We hypothesized that individuals who participated in the program would have a reduction in body mass index (BMI) z score significantly greater than zero and that there would be no difference in the reduction in BMI z score between boys and girls," says Nia S. Mitchell, MD, MPH, lead investigator and assistant professor of general internal medicine at CU School of Medici
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Contact: Eileen Leahy
acadpedmedia@elsevier.com
732-238-3628
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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