Childhood Obesity, Focus of UVA Children's Hospital Symposium
The University of Virginia Medical Center is putting the spotlight on pediatrics Thursday, highlighting some of the innovative research going on to help kids.
Their main focus is helping kids stay fit so they can stay out of the doctor's office in the first place. Thursday was the University of Virginia Children's Hospital's 24th annual research symposium. It was a chance for the entire department to get together and talk about what they've been up to.
Medical students, residents, fellows and faculty were all on hand at Thursday's event to share their work. Much of it was focused on one topic: childhood obesity.
One group of researchers linked the type of milk kids drink to weight gain.
UVA Medical Center physician Mark Deboer said, "Our first finding was surprising in that the children who drank 1 percent or skim were much more likely to be heavy... to be overweight than those who drank 2 percent or whole milk."
Deboer says the reason might be simple. "We think that that may just be because the parents of overweight kids may be more likely to give their kids skim milk or 1 percent milk to try to restrain their weight gain."
Another group launched a program to tackle the issue first hand with an initiative called Project Fit Kid, which gets physicians out of the office and exercising with kids.
"I think it's an important issue that we'd really like to focus our attention on and we'd like to be able to make a difference in the lives of the children as well as the families. To overall improve the lives of the families that visit our clinic," said Stephanie Grise, a resident at UVA Medical Center.
The program launched in April at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School in Charlottesville. Organizers say they hope to expand to other schools in the area.
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