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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 1, 2004

Child Health Specialists Urge Healthy Weight Awareness For Children

Faculty and staff members of Children's Hospital of Iowa at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will place increased emphasis upon the importance of helping children achieve and maintain a healthy weight during the month of October.

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack has declared October as Iowa Child Health Month. Every year since 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has designated October as Child Health Month and chooses a specific aspect of child health as a point of emphasis. Pediatricians and other child health specialists are encouraging families to help children understand how weight can affect their health.

The prevalence of overweight and obese children in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate, more than doubling in the last 20 years. More than 15.3 percent of 6- to 11-year-olds and 15.6 percent of 12- to 19-year-olds are considered overweight or obese.

"The good news is that lifestyle changes that focus on adequate exercise and proper nutrition can help children achieve or maintain a healthy weight," said Patricia Donohoue, M.D., a pediatrician at Children's Hospital of Iowa and professor of pediatrics in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. "Being a healthy weight helps prevent serious disorders such as diabetes and heart disease and helps children become healthy, happy adults."

The Iowa AAP chapter again sponsored a poster contest for children from kindergarten through eighth grade. To review the winners, visit online at or contact Children's Hospital of Iowa toll free at 888-573-5437 or For more information, contact AAP toll free at 800-433-9016 or

Children's Hospital of Iowa at UI Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City is the state's longest-serving children's hospital. More than 130,000 children receive care at the Children's Hospital of Iowa and its statewide network of outreach clinics each year.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,