Stories about: New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center

How would you support a child trying to live healthier?

Daivd Ludwig, MD, MPH

Every month the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) publishes an article called Clinical Crossroads, where a patient case is presented and medical professionals are invited to share their thoughts on how they might treat that person. A few weeks later the case is presented again, this time with commentary from an expert who specializes in the medical condition profiled in the article.

The most recent Clinical Crossroads was written by David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center Boston Children’s Hospital. Ludwig’s case focuses around Ms K, a 14 year-old girl struggling to lose weight.

Unlike typical medical case studies that focus on diagnosis and treatment of acute illness, Clinical Crossroads often takes into account the ethical, emotional and economic issues related to the patient’s health and treatment. All three of these elements figure heavily in Ms K’s story, making it ideal for the Clinical Crossroads treatment.

But as Ludwig himself would tell you, overcoming childhood obesity isn’t just the job of pediatricians and their patients; parents play a vital role in helping children achieve and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle too. With that in mind, we are presenting Dr. Ludwig’s Clinical Crossroads piece to you on Thriving and asking for your input as parents.

Given the following situation, what are some ways Ms K and her parents could work as a team to help her live healthier? If you were her mother or father, what would you do to support her efforts?

Ms K is an obese 14-year-old girl who is struggling with weight loss. She lives in the greater metropolitan Boston area. Ms K began to gain weight at age 8 years. Over the past 7 years, her weight has gone up by 20 to 30 lb annually … She reports trying various weight loss programs but either she did not follow through or they did not work. She has never lost more than 5 lb with any focused effort.

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Step up to the plate

The New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center Boston Children’s Hospital recently hosted a symposium for nutritionists, medical professionals and community leaders to discuss the USDA’s current dietary guidelines and new MyPlate icon. Here’s a brief video recapping this exciting meeting of these respected and nutritionally-sound minds:

To learn more about the symposium, which featured award winning chef and famed restaurateur Jody Adams, Sam Kass, assistant White House chef and senior policy advisory for Healthy Food Initiatives at the White House, and a host of other important speakers, check out this blog chronicling the whole talk. If you’d like to learn more about childhood obesity or talk to one of our experts, please contact the obesity prevention center.

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Children’s and the New Balance Foundation take on childhood obesity

David Ludwig, MD, PhD

David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center and the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, was recently featured in the annual medical issue of the Boston Globe Magazine. Ludwig was profiled for his leadership role in the war on childhood obesity.

 “Ludwig, who holds a chair in pediatric endocrinology at Harvard and directs the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) program at Children’s Hospital, is arguably the nation’s leading crusader in the battle against childhood obesity. With nearly a third of US children and teens overweight, and fully 17 percent obese, Ludwig believes this battle is one we cannot afford to lose.”

(For the full article click here, subscription required.)

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