Elsevier journal spotlights plans to reduce childhood obesity by 2010

Initiatives address 2004 theme for World Heart Day.

Amsterdam, 24 September 2004 – Prevention has become the primary focus in combating childhood obesity and pediatric nurse practitioners are among the best qualified to lead the fight, according to an article published in Elsevier’s Journal of Pediatric Health Care. Prevention of obesity is particularly relevant to the observance of World Heart Day on September 26, as sponsored by the World Heart Federation. The theme for 2004 is “Children, Adolescents, and Heart Disease.”

In “Advocacy for Reducing Childhood Obesity,” Karen G. Duderstadt, RN, MS, CPNP, observes that it is very difficult for overweight children and adolescents to lose weight and even more difficult for them to maintain weight loss. Pointing out that treating obesity later in life does not always reverse long-term health problems associated with obesity in childhood, she notes that by preventing obesity from the onset, the focus shifts towards healthy nutrition and physical activity and away from treatment and related morbidities, such as Type 2 diabetes.

Due to their close contact and ability to dispense advice to families, pediatric nurse practitioners are instrumental to the solution. The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), based in the United States, has established a five-year initiative called “Healthy Eating and Activity Together (HEAT©),” which was first publicized in the Summer 2003 issue of the Journal of Pediatric Health Care.

"The heartfelt response of our members to the HEAT© Initiative is testimony to their recognition of the urgent need to act now to stem the epidemic in childhood. We are acting on this urgency and working hard to produce workable and effective clinical practice guidelines and the resources to support their implementation for release on April 3, 2005,” said HEAT© Initiative National Chair Mary Margaret Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP.

Goals of this initiative include increasing physical activity among children, educating families about healthy eating, and reducing the proportion of obese children aged 6-19 years in the United States from 20% to less than 6% by 2010.

“It will take the concerted, focused efforts of all pediatric health professionals working together as a community of healthcare providers throughout the world to stop the rising rates of obesity in children. Efforts like this are critical to our children’s future and the future world’s health which will be placed in their hands as young adults within the next two decades," said Gottesman.

Childhood obesity is covered on an ongoing by several Elsevier journals. Other related articles, including the original HEAT© Initiative include:

· Healthy eating and activity together (HEAT): Weapons against obesity, Journal of Pediatric Health Care, July/August 2003, Vol. 1, No. 4, p.210-215.

· Evaluation and management of obesity in children and adolescents, Journal of Pediatric Health Care, January 2004, Vol. 18, No. 1, p.35-38.

· Childhood obesity and insulin-resistant syndrome, Journal of Pediatric Nursing: Nursing Care of Children and Families, August 2004, Vol.19, No.4, p.238-246.

· Cardiovascular risk factors in Mexican-American children at risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) , Journal of Adolescent Health, April 2004, Vol. 34, Issue 4, p.290-299.

· The renin angiotensin system in childhood hypertension: Selective increase of angiotensin-(1-7) in essential hypertension, The Journal of Pediatrics, July 2004, Vol. 145, No. 1, p.93-98.

· Severe obesity associated with cardiovascular deconditioning, high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, diabetes mellitus/hyperinsulinemia, and respiratory compromise, The Journal of Pediatrics, June 2004, Vol. 144, No. 6, p.766-769.

For more information on any of these articles, please contact PressOffice@elsevier.com.

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About the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners is a professional organization that advocates for children (infants through young adults) and provides leadership for pediatric nurse practitioners who deliver primary health care in a variety of settings. Other child health organizations working with NAPNAP against childhood obesity include the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Johnson and Johnson Pediatric Institute.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey— and publishes over 2,500 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and more than 35,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. www.elsevier.com