Eyeing recent National Institute of Health reports regarding the growing obesity epidemic among children, Winthrop-University Hospital Pediatric Endocrinology and Adolescent Medicine specialists have created "Healthy KIDS," a weight control program focused on helping local children gain control over obesity.
Working with Winthrop pediatrician, Jane Swedler, MD, and pediatric endocrinologists, Raul Arguello, MD, and Siham Accacha, MD, Jean Corrigan, RN, Pediatric Diabetes Coordinator, and Michele Lamerson, PNP, Pediatric Endocrinology, spearheaded the program.
"If a child is obese, and if the issue isn't addressed, chances are they'll be an obese adult," Ms. Corrigan explained. More importantly, obesity can lead to other health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and orthopaedic problems.
The 10-week program, offered three times a year, is blead to other health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and orthopaedic problems.
The 10-week program, offered three times a year, is based on the SHAPEDOWN method, a leading weight management program that was developed in 1979 at the University of California's School of Medicine. Both Ms. Corrigan and Ms. Lamerson are certified SHAPEDOWN instructors.
"Diets have not generally worked; Winthrop's program aims to teach participants how to live and grow in a healthy, active manner," explained Ms. Corrigan. "We talk about expressing feelings without using food for comfort. And teach them how to effectively deal and cope, eat healthier and live life in an active manner."
After the holiday season, children at Winthrop's Pediatric Inpatient Center were surprised with more presents and good cheer thanks to New York State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr.'s (back, right) "Extend the Holidays" seventh annual toy drive. Pictured with Senator Fuschillo are John Broder, Winthrop's Vice President of External Affairs (back, left); Krista Kearney, Child Life Specialist (left); and AnnMarie DiFrancesca, Child Life Program Director.
While they work one-on-one with participants, Ms. Lamerson and Ms. Corrigan also engage the families. "Success is based on parents being involved," Corrigan stated. "Parents are also taught how to incorporate exercise and healthy eating habits into their lifestyle," added Ms. Lamerson.
Examining why the child may be obese is imperative. Coordinators help parents brainstorm activities that can enrich their family's lifestyle so life doesn't revolve around food. "We give them options: helping them learn something that will benefit everyone involved in the process."
Once the course is over, help is not over. "If the child and family agree, they can continue to work with us through a year's worth of follow-ups," Ms. Corrigan explained.
For more information and registration, call (516) 663-3067 or (516) 663-3701.