IN OUR SCHOOLS: Will new effort crack obesity problem?

June 14, 2013
by Jessica Brown
Cincinnati Enquirer

Students, parents get with dieticians and exercise pros to find a way to shed pounds.

WALNUT HILLS — A new pilot program aims to give Cincinnati kids an extra push in battling an epidemic among the nation’s youth: obesity.

Cincinnati Public Schools has partnered with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to offer a weight management clinic at Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Walnut Hills, the latest program that puts schools on the front line.

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Local officials hope the program offers a solution, but they understand the realities. Historically – despite the billions of dollars spent nationwide in recent years to fight the ever-growing trend – anti-obesity programs have failed. Childhood obesity continues to rise at alarming rates; so do the economic and academic costs.

“It is difficult to point to something that works,” said James O. Hill, Anschutz Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado and national expert on obesity. “We’ve had research studies and some success with small groups, but implementing something broad in schools really hasn’t been that successful.”

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