By Tiffany Parnell
MD News San Antonio
September 22, 2017
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio’s innovative Culinary Health Education for Families (CHEF) program combats childhood and adolescent obesity through education that combines the science of nutrition with the art of cooking.
Texas childhood obesity rates have tripled since 1980, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Data compiled from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey reveals that approximately 31 percent of Texas high school students are overweight or obese.
The statewide incidence rate of childhood and adolescent obesity is similar to what physicians observe on a regional level. As many as one in three school-age youths in San Antonio are overweight or obese, according to Julie La Barba, MD, FAAP, Medical Director of CHEF and Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.
Because overweight and obese children are more likely to remain obese during adulthood and often develop comorbid conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, preventing and addressing obesity throughout childhood is crucial to maintaining optimal health across the lifespan.