Connecticut Children’s Medical Center  - Transcript

Michelle M. Cloutier, MD
Interim Director, The Children’s Center for Community Research
Connecticut Children's Medical Center - Hartford

Childhood obesity is probably the single greatest threat to American children today. In the United States one third of all children are obese or at risk for obesity. Here in Hartford the rate of obesity in young children is 42%.

Amy Gorin, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Connecticut - Storrs

Our project is unique in that it is training health care providers to interact with families when they come in for the clinic for their regularly scheduled visits and highlighting key areas that parents and children can work on together to change their weight and their eating activity.

Michelle M. Cloutier
Funding is essential to examine the effectiveness of specific interventions.

Amy Gorin
The Aetna Foundation has been very generous in the funding that they’ve provided so that we can go out and train providers in this and, and develop the tools that are needed to do this. We also got some excellent suggestions on ways to expand the project that really fits the needs of the community. Specifically looking at how sidewalk safety might impact treatment outcome.

Michelle M. Cloutier
They’ve been a partner in the science of this project as well as in the funding of this project.

Amy Gorin
I’m impressed with Aetna Foundation’s commitment to childhood obesity. It’s been recognized as a high priority area and I think they’re targeting a major health issue that’s going to have tremendous public health significance.

Michelle M. Cloutier
If this intervention is effective, then we will be able to roll this program out to pediatricians across the country and hopefully affect national rates of obesity.

Aetna Foundation 2009 Annual Giving Report - Promoting health, creating change

Due largely to obesity-related disease, the current generation of children will be the first in America to live shorter lives than their parents’ generation, according to a 2005 report from the New England Journal of Medicine.

To seek effective responses to this childhood obesity epidemic, the Aetna Foundation awarded a $299,353 grant to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center to pilot a project called “Helping Children Grow Up Healthy, The Role of the Pediatrician in Obesity Prevention.”

The project aims to increase communication between pediatricians, parents and their children about the dangers of obesity. It will examine the effectiveness of brief motivational counseling to prevent obesity in Hartford’s young children, primarily those between the ages of 2 and 4.

Beyond its local impact, this effort is designed to produce guidelines for effective methods that can be used by physicians across the United States to help prevent childhood obesity.