Monday, December 22, 2008

In Rural Communities, Group Treatment Works To Reduce Childhood Obesity

“A study published in the December issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found that group-based treatments may be effective programs to combat childhood obesity in rural communities. The study, led by researchers at the University of Florida, compared weight loss programs and concluded that children in family-based or parent-only group programs were less overweight than children in a control group. ‘Given the scope and seriousness of obesity in America and the limited access to services for children in rural settings, there is a pressing need for programs that help rural families adopt healthy dietary habits and increase physical activity,’ said lead investigator David Janicke, Ph.D. (assistant professor, UF College of Public Health and Health Professions). About 14% of urban children are obese, and over 16% of children in rural area are obese. Rural areas tend to have higher poverty rates and poorer access to medical care, healthful foods, and physical activity facilities due to geographic barriers. This recent study is among the first that was designed to assess the effectiveness of a child weight-management program in a real-world, community-based setting for families in rural areas.”

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