Health Discoveries in General Health News

Government grant aims to reduce childhood obesity

April 27, 2011
A program aimed at curbing childhood obesity through changes in lifestyle, physical activity and diet is being funded by a $4.78 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the next five years.

University of Arkansas researchers have been awarded the funding to work with children age 2 through first grade, their parents and caretakers, policy makers, groups involved in food supply to schools and college students planning careers that address childhood obesity.

Childhood obesity has been linked to increased levels of diabetes, heart health issues such as higher blood pressure and other pediatric conditions.

"Our goals are to improve the diet and healthy behaviors of children, especially those at risk for obesity, and equip educators, childcare providers and other practitioners to tackle the childhood obesity crisis," said Rudy Nayga, professor of agricultural economics, who will lead the project.

The end result is expected to be a comprehensive curriculum developed for use in Head Start, preschool and early elementary classrooms.

Heart health initiatives, such as reducing weight, are part of the community health promotion and education programs of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. Programs include heart screenings in collaboration with the American Heart Association and a heart healthy program for school children in grades K-8.
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