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Two New Programs Aim to Prevent, Treat Childhood Obesity

Two New Programs Aim to Prevent, Treat Childhood Obesity

09/13/10

MONDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Two major research programs that will examine ways to prevent and treat childhood obesity have been launched by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

"Childhood obesity is a major public health concern. If we don't curb this widespread problem, our country will see a substantial increase in cardiovascular disease and other health issues in the years ahead," Dr. Susan B. Shurin, acting director of the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), said in an agency news release.

"Childhood is the optimal time to encourage healthy habits that kids can practice for the rest of their lives," she added.

The NHLBI is the lead sponsor for both programs, totaling $72.5 million.

The $49.5 million Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research program will develop and test anti-obesity strategies that target home, community and primary-care settings for preschool children who live in poor, ethnically diverse neighborhoods.

It will also examine the effectiveness of home- and school-based obesity treatments on overweight and obese children ages 7 to 14 years.

The second program will evaluate existing community-based efforts to reduce childhood obesity in 300 communities across the nation, at a cost of $23 million.

"Over the past several years, communities across the United States have been implementing programs and policies to encourage healthier eating, increase opportunities for physical activity, and other steps to reverse increasing rates of childhood obesity," Denise Simons-Morton, director of the NHLBI's Division for the Application of Research Discoveries, said in the news release.

"This study will evaluate such community programs to determine which of them or their components are the most promising approaches for improving children's obesity-related health behaviors and weight," she explained.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers advice about how to keep children at a healthy weight.

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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