Medical Minute 1-11: Fighting Childhood Obesity: New Methods, New Results

By: Ramin Khalili Email
By: Ramin Khalili Email

A treadmill, free weights and extra exercise saved David Duran's life. Two years ago, at 12 years old and weighing 187 pounds - doctors told David he was way too heavy.

"It was just this much more to go and then I would have been diabetic," said Duran.

20 percent of all youngsters in the u-s are obese. And two-thirds will become obese adults - which may lead to hypertension, stroke and diabetes.

"It was just like ... the fear of diabetes. I didn't even know what it was but I knew it wasn't good," said David Duran.

"It's important to focus on changing that behavior," said Daphne Bryan, M.D. Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, Virginia.

Bryan runs their novel teens program. At-risk kids like David and their families meet with nutritionists and exercise scientists for two years. Doctors say whole family education boosts immersion and drives home key lessons on health.

"The activity's just not there anymore - there's more screen-time than running, and playing time," said Daphne Bryan, M.D.

To date, all graduates have lowered their cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Nationally, studies show 73 percent of similar programs have positive results.

"So I started coming in, and it was like ... hey I lost a pound. Next day ... it was like hey, I lost another one," said Melitza Duran TEENS Program Graduate, Richmond, Virginia.

David's sister Melitza went from 216 pounds - to 184 - in two years.

"Feels like you can just take on the world ... [shakes head] anything," he said.

David himself lost 47-pounds, and staved-off diabetes. He hopes this country's youngsters are paying attention.

For More Information, Contact:Janet DelormeTEENS Program(804) 827-0661

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