BUFFALO, N.Y. – Youfa Wang, PhD, professor of epidemiology
and environmental health at the University at Buffalo, is the
subject matter expert and video presenter for a multimedia
streaming video comparing the effectiveness of childhood obesity
programs that were produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research
and Quality (AHRQ), a unit of the U.S. Department of Health and
It is available for AHRQ members at: http://ahrq.cmeuniversity.com/course/disclaimer/110363.
The 2013 study upon which this effort is based is
“Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs: Comparative
Effectiveness Review and Meta-Analysis.” It was originally
prepared for AHRQ, which disseminates evidence-based products,
tools and research to specific audiences.
In fact, the agency previously produced a continuing education
program for physicians based on the report. The new program will
extend its reach to a larger target audience of health
professionals and others interested in obesity prevention
The report was the work of Wang, an internationally recognized
expert in childhood obesity, and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins
University Evidence-based Practice Center. It is online at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK148737/.
“Childhood obesity prevention is a national
priority,” Wang says, “and this two-year comprehensive
systematic study evaluated the effectiveness of childhood obesity
prevention programs available in high-income countries worldwide.
Our principle finding was that some intervention programs can help
reduce children’s risk for developing obesity. We presented
the elements of those programs and recommended directions for
future related research.”
The importance of this research, he says, is demonstrated by the
fact that more than 30 percent of American children and adolescents
are overweight or obese. “Overweight” means a child is
above the weight considered normal and healthy for their height and
can lead to obesity as an adult. “Obese” means a child
is severely overweight with a BMI – an estimate of body fat
– equal to or greater than the 95th percentile for their
height and weight.