SILVER SPRING, Md., Aug. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- As children return to school this fall, one in five youth will have obesity. To help combat this disease and promote a healthier lifestyle, The Obesity Society (TOS) will host a variety of activities recognizing National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in September.
"This is a call to action and we urge health care providers to focus on the prevention and treatment of obesity and change the paradigm for how medicine is practiced in the United States," said Caroline Apovian, MD, FACP, FTOS, DABOM, TOS President and Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics in the Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition at Boston University School of Medicine.
Children with obesity are at risk for health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. "The new treatment paradigm for metabolic disease is to treat the obesity first, especially in children," said Apovian. "Treating obesity first in children gives us a better chance of preventing these comorbidities rather than waiting until adulthood, when perhaps, irreversible damage to organs has occurred."
Apovian noted that prevention is key in fighting childhood obesity. To help prevent obesity, families are encouraged to make healthy lifestyle changes such as devoting time to physical activity, limiting screen time for children to two hours or less a day and cooking meals that contain fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods.
To recognize National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, TOS will create a special thematic virtual issue of its flagship journal Obesity featuring a collection of research articles on pediatric obesity. An e-newsletter will highlight scientific sessions on pediatric obesity to be held at TOS' annual meeting, ObesityWeek 2018, in November. TOS will also host a live Twitter Chat led by pediatric obesity experts at 4 p.m. (EDT) on Sept. 24, 2018.
"One of our top priorities going forward needs to be improving access to weight management clinical services for the tens of millions of children and adolescents with obesity in the United States. These youth are afflicted with a serious and chronic disease that warrants state-of-the-art treatment delivered by specially-trained pediatricians and other health care providers," said Aaron Kelly, PhD, Chair of TOS' Pediatric Obesity Section and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Minnesota American Legion and Auxiliary Chair in Children's Health, and Co-Director of the Center for Pediatric Obesity Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis.
The Obesity Society (TOS) is the leading organization of scientists and health professionals devoted to understanding and reversing the epidemic of obesity and its adverse health, economic and societal effects. Combining the perspective of physicians and other clinicians, scientists, policymakers and patients, TOS promotes innovative research, education, and evidence-based clinical care to improve the health and well-being of all people with obesity. For more information, visit www.obesity.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Kristin D. Collins
Director of Communications
The Obesity Society
SOURCE The Obesity Society