Tex Med. 2009;105(2):56.
The manifestation of adult diseases in children is an alarming trend that health care professionals hope to reverse. The increasing rate of overweight and obesity in young patients is largely to blame for many new chronic health problems facing children. The Web sites listed here will help inform physicians on best practices in stemming the tide against this epidemic.
Texas Medical Association
TMA's Web site offers physicians an opportunity to learn best practices in treating obese patients from other skilled health care professionals. Informative slides and handouts are available. The resources are helpful in assessing obesity and its associated health risks; reviewing strategies for promoting weight loss; outlining methods health professionals can use to address the problem of overweight and obesity at school and community levels; and formulating proper treatment plans with physical activities, diet and behavioral modifications, and medications.
American Medical Association
The American Medical Association is working to halt the spread of obesity. From the AMA Web site home page, www.ama-assn.org , select AMA Agenda, then Advocacy Efforts, followed by Public Health and Healthy Lifestyles to access the Obesity page . Click on National Summit on Obesity for helpful information and resources. You can access PDFs on topics such as addressing the obesity epidemic in African-Americans; the impact of the obesity epidemic; community, medical practice, and worksite interventions; preventing childhood obesity; and state-by-state efforts to reduce obesity. From the Obesity portion of the AMA Web site, you can also link to strategies in reducing cardiometabolic risk .
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Overweight and Obesity section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) Web site, www.cdc.gov , provides an understanding of the severity of obesity, the efforts being made to address it, and how to maintain a healthy weight. From the home page, click on Obesity in the CDC.gov Top 10 section on the right side of the screen. From there, select Childhood Overweight and Obesity for information related specifically to young patients. The information on the Web site is valuable for sharing with parents and includes a definition of overweight and obesity; information on the prevalence of obesity, contributing factors, and consequences; and additional resources. The Tips for Parents link features facts about the psychological risks and cardiovascular disease risks of obesity, as well as obesity's connection to asthma, sleep apnea, and type 2 diabetes. It also contains advice for parents on helping their children maintain a healthy weight.
A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, Medline Plus is a robust catalog of health and drug information that physicians can share with their patients. On the Web site, medlineplus.gov , you can search by health topic to access information on obesity in children. The site contains a vast amount of resources that encompass prevention, screening, nutrition, a body mass index calculator, research, journal articles, a directory of nutrition professionals, statistics, and related organizations. Physicians can direct parents to the Research portion of the site for resources on the emotional toll of obesity, risk factors for diseases, and obesity prevention programs.
Texas Department of State Health Services
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Web site focuses on the economic and health costs of obesity in Texas adults and children. From the Obesity home page, www.dshs.state.tx.us/obesity , physicians can learn more about the DSHS Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention Program . In addition, the menu on the left side of the screen has links to reports that cover the costs of obesity, policy implications, communication plans to address obesity in Texas, the physiological impact of obesity on school-age children, and more. The Data link will direct you to Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System statistics, as well as Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System data related to overweight and obesity.
MedBytes is a quick look at new, or newly discovered, Web sites of interest to Texas physicians. The column also highlights features of the TMA Web site. If you know of some interesting medical sites or have questions about how to use the TMA Web site, e-mail Crystal Conde . Publication of information about Web sites in this column is not to be considered an endorsement or approval by the Texas Medical Association of the sites or sponsors, or of any products or services involved.
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