Surveillance of Childhood Obesity: A Preliminary Investigation of Obesity and Overweight Children in a High-Risk Child and Adolescent Population

Grant Winners

  • David Reitman, Ph.D. – Center for Psychological Studies
  • Beth Zeldis, M.S. – Center for Psychological Studies

Dean

  • Interim, Karen Grosby – Center for Psychological Studies

Abstract

Obesity is one of the most common behavioral health problems observed in childhood and its prevalence has been increasing rapidly. Recent estimates suggest that childhood obesity has risen nearly 15% in the past two decades alone. Because children that are obese are highly likely to remain overweight, the long-term the impact of childhood obesity on the healthcare system could be disastrous. In the year 2000, 400,000 deaths were linked to obesity-related illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Much of the increase in prevalence has been attributed to poor diet and physical inactivity. The purpose of the present investigation is to work collaboratively with the Boys and Girls Clubs (B&GC) of Broward County to establish the population prevalence of obesity and overweight status among the youths participating in B&GC programs. Data will also be utilized to ascertain the appropriateness and feasibility of data collection methods that will be used to assess the impact of a variety of intervention approaches that will be employed to reduce risk factors for obesity among club participants in years to come.