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Innovative Program To Combat Teenage Obesity Launched At The Children's Hospital At Montefiore

NEW YORK CITY,NY (February 28, 2005) –- A new program to help teenagers fight excessive weight is being launched by The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM). The program, called “B’N Fit” (Bronx Nutrition and Fitness Initiative for Teens), will focus on opportunities, personal skills and empowerment to give overweight adolescents the tools to lose weight.

“This is an innovative program especially designed for overweight teenagers who are interested in making lifestyle changes and getting nutritionally and physically fit,” said Susan Coupey, MD, director, Adolescent Medicine at CHAM. “Young people who join “B’N Fit” will receive comprehensive care by a team of medical professionals on an individual basis and also as part of weekly group sessions,” Dr. Coupey said. “This global approach in an encouraging environment is the hallmark of care for adolescents and standard and proven practice at CHAM.” Excessive weight in teenagers is epidemic throughout the country and especially so in the Bronx. A random sampling of teenagers cared for at CHAM in 2002 and 2003 found that 22% of girls and 27% of boys were overweight. Excessive weight often results in serious, life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea and premature death even in the teenage years.

“Entering the “B’N Fit” program is a long-term, three-phase commitment that will initially last about five months,” said Jessica Rieder, MD, director of “B’N Fit.” “The first phase, in addition to a complete medical assessment, is devoted to learning the tools needed to help young people lose weight slowly and appropriately and to gain skills to keep excess weight off,” she said. “The second phase delves deeper into problem solving such as learning how to select healthful foods at the grocery store and how to navigate those snack sessions with friends,” Dr. Rieder said. Increasing personally tailored physical activity is also stressed.

The third and final phase is confidence building and learning how to keep the weight off. The CHAM “B’N Fit” program is open to any overweight teenager who lives in the area and is interested in making the commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

To make an appointment, please contact The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore at 718-741-2450.

Montefiore Medical Center, The University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, ranks among the top one percent of all US hospitals based on its investments in medical innovation and cutting-edge technology.

Montefiore invests more in order to enable compassionate, personalized care and the most positive outcomes for patients and their families in New York, the tri-state area and beyond. Montefiore’s unique combination of ‘state-of-the-art’ technology with ‘state-of-the-heart’ medical and nursing care in a teaching and research environment provides patients with access to world-class medical experts, the newest and most innovative treatments and the best medical center experience anywhere.

This 1,062 bed medical center includes the Henry and Lucy Moses Division, the Jack D. Weiler Hospital and The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, a large home healthcare agency and a 21-site medical group practice located throughout the Bronx and nearby Westchester. Montefiore treats all major illnesses and has distinguished centers of excellence in cardiology and cardiac surgery, cancer care, tissue and organ transplantation, children's health, women's health, surgery and the surgical subspecialties. Montefiore Medical Center focuses on providing family-centered healthcare in a nurturing environment that extends well beyond hospital and clinic walls.