Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

White House's Childhood Obesity Task Force must focus on providing treatment for minority children, experts argue

Date:
September 8, 2011
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
To achieve the goals laid out by the White House's Childhood Obesity Task Force, researchers concluded that a shared emphasis on both obesity prevention and treatment strategies is required. Prevention programs alone cannot appropriately tackle the epidemic affecting children who are already obese, particularly minorities. Obesity treatment strategies need to be a key part of the equation.

The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity, created by the president as part of the first lady's "Let's Move" campaign, aims to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation, returning the country to a rate of 5 percent by 2030, which was the rate before childhood obesity first began to rise in the late 1970s.

In a recent U-M study, published online ahead of print in Obesity, researchers evaluated the balance of prevention and treatment required for achieving goals laid out by the Task Force's May 2010 report.

To achieve this goal, researchers concluded that a shared emphasis on both obesity prevention and treatment strategies is required. Prevention programs alone cannot appropriately tackle the epidemic affecting children who are already obese, particularly minorities. Obesity treatment strategies need to be a key part of the equation.

"There is a lot of discussion about obesity prevention for children. That's certainly important, but it's not the whole story. Because so many children are already obese, there need to be greater efforts focused on treatment if we're going to have success," says Joyce M. Lee, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases at the U-M Medical School and a clinician at U-M C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

Rates of childhood obesity in the U.S. are much higher for minority children, with 20 percent of black and Mexican-American children affected, compared with just 15 percent for white children. Because the burden of obesity is already so high, prevention strategies alone will not help the task force reach its goal, the study concludes.

"Effective treatment strategies, particularly targeted to minority children, are especially needed," says Lee, the lead author of the study.

The study points out that recent legislation, including the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, may help progress efforts to reverse the obesity epidemic. The act increased financial support for the National School lunch program, which offers free or reduced price meals to low-income students.

However, researchers say that the law may have a greater impact on preventing obesity in healthy children rather than reducing obesity in children already affected by obesity. "It won't be enough just to develop new, culturally relevant and effective treatment strategies focused on minority children. We must reduce the financial barriers to these treatment strategies for kids in low-income households, many of whom are from racial/ethnic minority groups," says Lee.

Only ten states cover obesity-related nutritional and behavioral therapy offered through programs like Medicaid. However, given the number of disadvantaged children who are more likely to be obese, it's critical that this coverage be available to all, authors say.

"The Health Care Reform Bill passed in 2010 may play an important role for providing coverage for obese children, as it will require new health plans to cover obesity screening and counseling for children," says Lee.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. The original article was written by Lauren McLeod. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joyce M. Lee, Hedwig Lee. Obesity Reduction Within a Generation: The Dual Roles of Prevention and Treatment. Obesity, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/oby.2011.199

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "White House's Childhood Obesity Task Force must focus on providing treatment for minority children, experts argue." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110908124502.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2011, September 8). White House's Childhood Obesity Task Force must focus on providing treatment for minority children, experts argue. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110908124502.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "White House's Childhood Obesity Task Force must focus on providing treatment for minority children, experts argue." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110908124502.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins