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Kentucky Children’s Hospital Focuses on High BMI

Media Contact: Mary Colliver

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 18, 2009) − Kentucky ranks first among the 50 states in overall prevalence of childhood obesity, according to the National Survey of Children's Health.

"In the last 50 years, the incidence of overweight children has doubled and it is now estimated that one in five children in the United States is overweight," said Dr. Aurelia Radulescu, assistant professor of pediatrics, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, and director of the High BMI Clinic at Kentucky Children's Hospital. "Most troubling, are the increases being seen in younger children, including preschoolers."

The High BMI (Body Mass Index) Clinic at Kentucky Children’s Hospital serves children and adolescents, 2 to 18, who are overweight or obese (i.e., with BMIs above the 85th percentile).

The clinic evaluates overweight/obese patients who are referred by their physicians to the UK Department of Pediatrics. It provides an extensive initial evaluation, which includes a comprehensive physical exam, a detailed family, dietary, and activity history, as well as screening for co-morbidities associated with obesity. Clinic staff coordinate arrangements for subspecialty clinic services as needed and communicate with the referring primary care physician. Clinic staff also collaborate closely with public health departments in Kentucky to identify and refer all patients and their families to local resources for lifestyle modification interventions, especially those related to nutrition and physical activity.

“Parents should know their children’s BMI and be aware of medical complications associated with excessive weight gain," said Radulescu.

Since the BMI Clinic opened 10 months ago over 150 patients from 43 counties have been served. “Since obesity is an increasing problem among Kentucky’s children we felt that having a clinic focused on the problem would assist providers in managing the complex medical problems faced by this group of children," said Dr. Carmel Wallace, associate professor of pediatrics, UK College of Medicine, and chief, division of general pediatrics at Kentucky Children's Hospital.

For more information, contact Becky Heinrichs, nurse coordinator of the High BMI Clinic, at 859-257-3971 or becky.heinrichs@uky.edu.

Page last updated: 6/6/2014 10:40:12 AM