For Immediate Release
Contact: Jodi Cross, 718-283-7036
BROOKLYN, NY (December 2, 2011) – Maimonides Medical Center has received a $150,000 grant from the New York State Department of Health for a project targeted to help children and families combat obesity. Maimonides is one of nine organizations awarded State grants totaling up to $4.5 million over five years to reduce child and adolescent obesity. The grant funding will support training for health care providers and other initiatives.
"Overweight and obese children are at great risk for a lifetime of serious health problems such as diabetes, coronary disease or hypertension,” says State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D. “Earlier intervention can result in better quality of life and reduced health care problems."
The Kids Weight Down Program at Maimonides, headed by Director, Lisa Altshuler, PhD, is the specific recipient of the grant money provided by the state.
“Kids Weight Down is a program that provides effective weight loss services for overweight children, adolescents and their families at the Maimonides Infants & Children's Hospital. We teach families healthy nutritional habits and increase physical activity through nutrition counseling, group and individual sessions, and exercise classes,” says Dr. Altshuler. “The involvement of the entire family is considered key to the program’s success.”
Approximately 32 percent of students in public schools outside of New York City are overweight or obese; and 40 percent of New York City public school students aged 6 through 12 are overweight or obese. In addition, State health care expenditures related to obesity in children and adolescents costs the New York State an estimated $242 million each year. Obesity is the second leading cause of morbidity and mortality in New York and the U.S. as a whole, and a key risk factor for many debilitating diseases.
The focus of the newly created grants in New York State is to train primary care pediatricians to ensure appropriate prevention, screening and intervention for at risk kids. The Department of Health's Obesity Prevention Program is working to reduce the prevalence of obesity and overweight children and adolescents, as well as the burden of obesity-related diseases. Initiatives include: health care programs to promote age-appropriate screening for obesity, educating community members and officials about the public health threat of obesity; and surveillance and evaluation of anti-obesity programs.
Now celebrating its Centennial, Maimonides Medical Center is among the largest independent teaching hospitals in the nation – training over 450 interns, residents and fellows annually. Widely recognized for its major achievements in advancing medical and information technology, Maimonides has 711 beds and over 70 subspecialty programs. For more information on the state-of-the-art clinical services at Maimonides Medical Center, click here.