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Toolkit Tackles Childhood Obesity Epidemic

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A new Childhood Obesity Treatment Toolkit, which provides integrative strategies for reducing and treating obesity in children across the state, has been launched by LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

Through a partnership with Baptist Community Ministries, Pennington is joining with primary care physicians throughout Louisiana to implement weight reduction initiatives that have demonstrated success in primary care settings.

The toolkit features comprehensive information for pediatricians on evaluations, assessments, and approaches for treating overweight and obese children and adolescents.  It also provides additional support to physicians through four recommended stages of treatment.

Pennington Executive Director Dr. William Cefalu says, "this revolutionary toolkit has the power to transform the approach to battling the childhood obesity epidemic.”  He added, "it provides a simple starting point to begin and continue the conversation about developing a healthy lifestyle earlier on."  Cefalu feels in accomplishing that, children will be less likely to suffer from obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other dangerous chronic conditions.

The toolkit stresses the importance of family involvement in health, including encouraging parents to model healthy eating and a physically active lifestyle. It also focuses on self-monitoring and goal setting with nutrition and exercise at the forefront, while integrating technology such as smartphone apps, pedometers, text messaging, video conferencing and other cutting-edge tools to motivate patients.

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