Children who use community health centers may be at a particularly high risk of being obese, according to a new study. This association between obesity and the type of health delivery system used was present regardless of race, ethnicity or geographic characteristics.
Researchers studied nearly 2,500 children aged two to 11, in medically underserved areas of the mid-Atlantic states, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico. These medically underserved areas, mainly inner-city and rural sites, often have limited access to healthy foods and to opportunities for physical activity, noted the study leader, Nicolas Stettler, M.D., M.S.C.E., a pediatric nutrition specialist at The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia.
Those centers may offer opportune sites for health interventions: "Because community health centers are experienced in prevention and serve more than 4.7 million children in the U.S., they may be a particularly promising point of access and setting for pediatric obesity prevention," added Dr. Stettler. The study appears in the September issue of Pediatrics.
Joey Marie McCool | EurekAlert!
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