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UM School of Medicine finds mentorship program successfully fights childhood obesity
Date:8/2/2010

in small groups with a mentor. The school level promotes a school-wide social environment that emphasizes healthy options. That school level approach encourages schools to promote opportunities for healthy living, to get rid of candy-sale fundraisers, to hold health fairs for students and to hold taste tests that compare choices such as baked potato chips over fried. All of the schools involved in that study will receive the individual level intervention, with small-group mentors for their students. Half of the schools also will receive the school level approach.

Dr. Black says similar programs exist here and there, but it is only recently that researchers have scientifically developed and evaluated comprehensive outreach programs to target childhood obesity. School-based interventions such as the one she is currently studying are rare, she adds.

"Dr. Black's fight against childhood obesity is a perfect example of our mission to improve the lives of people in our community and beyond," says E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean of the School of Medicine. "All of our top-tier researchers are striving to develop innovative strategies to better human health. One of the most important questions today in medicine and, indeed, in society is how to keep our future generations healthy and fit. I'm confident Dr. Black's work will lead to improvements in better health and quality of life for our children."


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Contact: Karen Buckelew
kbuckelew@som.umaryland.edu
410-706-7590
University of Maryland Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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