Obesity Prevention That Works
Kids who began the Head Start program as overweight or obese achieved a more healthy weight by kindergarten than kids in the comparison group, find researchers. Published in Pediatrics, the study found that kids who entered Head Start at an unhealthy weight ended up with a significantly healthier body mass index (BMI) before kindergarten compared with kids who were seen for pediatric well-child checks. In addition, underweight children experienced an increase in weight gain. Lead author Julie Lumeng, M.D., of the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital says that while Head Start is often at risk for cuts in funding, the program is "associated with robust, early and sustained beneficial changes in children's BMI."