"48 Hours" looks at childhood weight control

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"48 Hours" looks at childhood weight control

Television crews from "48 Hours," the CBS-TV weekly newsmagazine, were on campus last October to film a segment on UB's childhood weight control research program directed by Leonard H. Epstein, UB professor of psychology, social and preventive medicine, and nutrition. The program helps children reduce and maintain a healthy weight throughout their lives.

CBS correspondent Harold Dow interviewed Epstein and spent several days with a family enrolled in the program, filming them as they followed their normal routine, including a visit to their counselor at UB. The segment aired Nov. 16.

Epstein was lead researcher in the first study to compare weight loss and weight-loss maintenance of children and adults enrolled in the same treatment program. Published in the September issue of Obesity Research, the study found that obese children take pounds off easier and keep them off longer than their obese parents. The follow-up study of participants in weight-loss treatment programs showed that at 10 years, more than 20 percent of the children had maintained a 20 percent decrease in overweight, compared to less than 1 percent of the adults.

The study results, said Epstein, suggest that as a public health issue, it may be a better use of limited resources to focus on preventing obesity in children, instead of trying to reduce it in adults.

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