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FAMILY HEALTH CENTERS LAUNCH HEALTHY BODY/HEALTHY MIND PROGRAM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LUTHERAN FAMILY HEALTH CENTERS' HEALTHY BODY/HEALTHY MIND PROGRAM
Weight Management Program That Incorporates Mental Health and Chronic Disease Education and Screening Targets Low-Income Hispanic Children

June 5, 2008, Brooklyn, New York… The prevalence of obesity in children has been rising worldwide, especially among Hispanic populations. It is a crisis that puts children at risk for a number of serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

To combat this growing threat, Lutheran Family Health Centers, working closely with its School-Based Health Center program at P.S. 24 in Sunset Park, has developed Healthy Body/Healthy Mind, an innovation in weight management programs. Unlike traditional programs, Healthy Body/Healthy Mind includes a mental health component and integrates screening for and education about chronic disease risk factors into its nutrition education and physical activity components.

The program's ninety-minute sessions are conducted in both English and Spanish with half of each session devoted to physical activities including soccer and basketball; dance activities will be incorporated in the future. The other half of each session alternates between nutrition/medical education and cognitive/behavioral therapy. Parents are invited to participate in the children's nutrition and medical education sessions, but also have their own group sessions every two weeks. During the cognitive and behavioral therapy component, the children discuss their beliefs and attitudes about weight and body image and learn techniques for dealing with depression related to negative body image, or anxiety about dietary and lifestyle changes.

Healthy Body/Healthy Mind was recently featured on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) Innovations Exchange Web site as an innovation profile. To read more about the program, visit http://www.innovations.ahrq.gov/content.aspx?id=1875.

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