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HHS Partners with Discovery Networks, U.S., and Clinician Groups on New Tools to Help Combat Childhood Obesity

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Press Release Date: September 27, 2004

In response to the growing epidemic of childhood obesity in this country, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has developed two DVDs to teach children and their parents about smart eating and physical activity, and to educate clinicians about the best ways to prevent and treat obesity in children. HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has partnered with FitTV, the newest network from Discovery Networks, U.S., to produce a fun and interactive DVD for children and their parents called Max's Magical Delivery: Fit for Kids.

The first DVD is a 30-minute tool designed for families and children ages 5 to 9 to provide them with fun ways to incorporate physical activity and healthy foods into their daily lives. The DVD features healthy tips from HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson on ways parents can take small steps to make changes in the way their families eat and exercise every day, a message from U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, M.D., to kids about healthy eating, as well entertaining and informative segments with an energetic cast of child actors.

AHRQ is partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and other groups to distribute copies of the DVD to clinicians and encourage them to have their patients order additional copies.

"Eating healthy foods and being physically active every day are important ways to avoid becoming overweight or obese—for kids as well as for adults," said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "I'm pleased that HHS is able to make available this important new tool to help families stay fit and to help clinicians talk to children and their parents about ways to do that."

Billy Campbell, President, Discovery Networks, U.S., said his company is excited to partner with HHS on this important public health initiative. "We are proud to assist HHS by providing this valuable service to children, their families, and health professionals," he said.

A second DVD called Childhood Obesity: Combating the Epidemic has also been produced in partnership with Discovery Health Channel for pediatricians, family physicians, and other health care providers to help them learn new methods for assessing and treating childhood overweight and obesity. It features a panel discussion with Donald Shifrin, M.D., a member of the obesity task force at the American Academy of Pediatrics; Rick Kellerman, M.D., a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians; and Francine Kaufman, M.D., who heads the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Childrens' Hospital in Los Angeles. This 55-minute program provides helpful clinical tools such as body mass index measurement in children, in addition to tips for initiating and sustaining behavior change in children.

The program also began airing on the Discovery Health Channel on Sunday, September 26 (9:00 a.m. EDT), and will air every week through November 28. Free continuing education credits are available for children's health care providers, including nurse practitioners, through both the DVD version and the program on Discovery Health. Visit for more information.

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs: (301) 427-1865 or (301) 427-1245.


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