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Montefiore Medical Center Receives Grant To Study Consequences Of Improving Literacy In Reducing Obe

NEW YORK CITY,NY (February 1, 2005) -- Montefiore Medical Center pediatricians have been awarded a two-year, $150,000 Pfizer Grant to study how the everyday language used in labeling on food packaging may have an important impact on obesity in an inner-city community.

“Most health information is provided at written levels way above the average literacy skills of our community,” said Iman Sharif, MD, the Montefiore team leader. “By creating materials and colorful educational packets at a third grade reading level the inner-city families enrolled in our study will learn ‘plain talk’ as a weight management tool and understand the definitions behind nutrition and exercise terminology.”

Physicians at Montefiore’s Comprehensive Health Care Center (CHCC) in the South Bronx will measure the results of the intervention by the difference in patients’ BMI (Body Mass Index) at one-year follow-up. BMI is one of the most accurate ways to determine when extra pounds translate into health risks, taking into account the height and weight of adults or children to gauge total body fat. The higher the BMI, the greater the risk of developing additional health problems.

“Health literacy and obesity are major issues on a national level,” said Philip Ozuah, MD, vice chairman, Clinical and Educational Affairs, Department of Pediatrics, Montefiore Medical Center. “We’re investing in integrated programs to address the healthcare needs of today and tomorrow. We know that poor literacy is a factor in the emergence of this crisis, and we’ll know more in a year.”

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.