Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Children using community health centers are more likely to be overweight

06.09.2005


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 Children’s 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.


The team analyzed charts for 2,474 children using 30 community health centers in 2001. Defining overweight as a body mass index of greater than the 95th percentile of a reference population, the researchers found a higher prevalence of overweight children in 27 of the 30 centers, in comparison to children in the general population.

In the younger children, the prevalence of overweight was 22 percent compared to 10 percent in a nationally representative sample (the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey). In the older children the prevalence was 24 percent, compared to 16 percent in the national sample. The researchers found no significant differences in prevalence between ethnic groups in this sample, in contrast to what is observed in the general population. In addition, there were no differences in prevalence among children using community health centers in urban or rural areas.

There were also no significant differences in obesity prevalence between boys and girls.

The higher prevalence of overweight was particularly large in younger children in this sample, said Dr. Stettler, suggesting that obesity has an earlier onset in these children compared to the rest of the country. Regional differences may explain the differences, although smaller studies have found higher prevalence of childhood overweight in the community health setting in various regions of the country.

Further studies may clarify whether the findings in this research team’s mid-Atlantic sample may apply to other regions of the United States.

"This sample was based on consultations at primary care clinics rather than being population based, which could also partially explain the high prevalence of overweight in the sample, because obese children are more likely to have chronic conditions, such as asthma, that require more frequent healthcare visits," said Dr. Stettler. "It is likely however, that the high prevalence of overweight in this study is also related to characteristics of medically underserved areas, particularly access to care."

More than 4.7 million children are patients at these centers, which are located in inner-city and rural areas and may be at increased risk for obesity, because medically underserved communities are also often areas in which access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities are limited, creating a particularly "obesogenic" environment.

"Identifying this high-risk population based on use of community health centers may be useful for directing services, training and research resources to this population," said Dr. Stettler, adding that community health centers may be well positioned to deliver long-term treatments for pediatric obesity. "Such centers often provide continuity of care to patients over time, and their financial security is less dependent on the vagaries of private insurers."

The obesity epidemic continues to increase nationwide in both the pediatric and adult populations. It is important to target methods of prevention in order to alleviate the serious side effects that are often related to overweight and obesity, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and sleep apnea.

This study was funded in part by the Health Resources and Services Administration and Office of Public Health and Science, Penn-Cheney EXPORT Center of Excellence Inner City Health and the Nutrition Center of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Stettler is supported in part by National Institutes of Health grant K23 RR16073.

Dr. Stettler’s co-investigators were: Michael R. Elliott, Ph.D., and Michael J. Kallan, M.S., both of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Steven B. Auerbach, M.D., M.P.H., of the Health Resources and Services Administration, New York City; and Shiriki Kumanyika, Ph.D, M.P.H., also of Penn’s Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Joey Marie McCool | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.chop.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>