Dr. Staiano said that weight problems at a young age cannot be prevented, can lead to lifelong health problems.
NEW ORLEANS – Families in this area now have the opportunity to participate in a program aimed at helping overweight children.
One mother said the program will change the way she groceries, cook and eat, and open new doors for her teenage son.
When Collin Jackson was younger, he participated in a family program at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center that focused on weight and lifelong healthy choices.
“He loved it. We went. He made new friends and it was fun, but it was aimed at a healthy lifestyle change, not just for him but also for the family,” said Clarencia Grimes, Collin’s mother.
Now, at the age of 13, it shows.
“I never really noticed that I was getting taller and thinner until it was pointed at me, and then I looked in the mirror and thought, ‘Oh, I’m getting a little bit thinner,’ said Collin Jackson.
“We know that weight is a family issue and everyone needs to get on board to develop healthy habits,” said Dr. Amanda Staiano, an associate professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center and a
Developmental psychologist specializing in childhood obesity.
Dr. Staiano said that weight problems at a young age cannot be prevented, can lead to lifelong health problems. They range from:
Heart disease Type 2 diabetes Cancer Shortened lifespan Difficulty sleeping / breathing School performance Stigma Bullying / Cyberbullying Self-esteem Depression Anxiety Suicidal thoughts
That’s why she is looking for 300 children in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas to participate in the Team Up program.
“We know this is really what it takes to help families lose weight and develop healthy habits, to meet with their doctor, and to meet with a dietitian on a regular basis to get the support and information they need”, said Dr. Staiano.
Team Up is for six to 15 year olds through some of Ochsner’s children’s clinics, but focused on full family participation.
Grimes said one of the things she learned from the program is that everyone should be on the same menu no matter their weight. “If you don’t cook it for one, don’t cook it for anyone, and if you don’t buy it for one, don’t buy it for anyone,”
It just felt right. It was like I didn’t feel chosen, ”Jackson said of the family who ate the same meals.
Now Collin feels like he can persevere and achieve anything, even with asthma. He runs and wins track events while laying the foundation for health and longevity.
There is a fee of $ 200 for those in the study.
Children are randomly assigned to one of the 12-month programs. To be eligible, children must be between 6 and 15 years old and be obese. Participants must also be current patients in one of the following locations:
The Baton Rouge Clinic – AMC (Pediatrics)
The Baton Rouge Clinic Pediatrics at Industriplex
Our Lady of Lake Child Health:
Pediatrics at Perkins Pediatrics at Denham Springs Pediatrics at Goodwood Pediatric Academic Clinic Pediatrics at O’Donovan Pediatrics at Prairieville Pediatrie in South Burnside (Gonzales) Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group Livingston Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group North Point (Greenwell Springs) Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group North Point (Greenwell Springs) Our Lady of the Lake North Pediatric Clinic Lady of the Angels (Bogalusa)
Greater New Orleans and the surrounding area:
Ochsner Health Center – Lapalco (Westside Pediatrics and Family Medicine)
Kenner Community Health Center (Access Health Louisiana)
St. Bernard Community Health Center (Access Health Louisiana)
For more information about the study or to see if your child is eligible, visit JoinTeamUp.org or call (225) 763-3194.
Many Blue Cross health plans provide a treatment benefit for children who have been diagnosed with overweight or obesity. To learn more about Blue Cross pediatric wellness benefits, visit bcbsla.com/healthierkids or call the number on the back of your Blue Cross ID card.
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