Bassett battles the bulge

By Matt Porter

Bassett battles the bulge

October 16, 2013 Updated Oct 16, 2013 at 9:03 PM EDT

Cooperstown, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Childhood obesity remains one of the most prevalent epidemics in the United States.

The topic brought doctors together in Cooperstown to discuss improving programs already underway in the region.

Dr. Stephen Cook, a pediatrician from the the Galisano Children's Hospital in Rochester, told doctors to focus on behavior in their treatment.

"It's not really is their weight unhealthy at this point? It's what are the behaviors leading to that and focus on it," Cook said. "You could have a child who's fit as a fiddle, but they're drinking four or five sodas a day. That's unhealthy behavior you want to change."

The hospital began a program known as 5-2-1-0 last year.

It encourages children consume five or more fruits or vegetables, watch two hours or less television, spend one or more hours exercising, and consume no sugary drinks each day.

The program partners with schools and other community exercises to focus on changing children's behaviors.

Dr. Chris Kjolhede, director of school-based health centers at Bassett, said everyone needs to consider behavior as the real cause of the obesity epidemic.

"We should be looking at changes in behavior, and whether it's childrens' behavior, household behavior, or the school environment and the behavior there," Kjolhede said. "That's what we're looking for."

The changes are slow say practitioners and effects are not immediately seen.

Doctors stressed cooperation on all fronts including at schools, community organizations, and in the home.

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