Program gets family involved in weight course for children

Staff Report
The Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) - It's been more than two months since the Washington family completed a family program for children struggling with their weight.

Now they're trying to stick to their nutrition and fitness goals. Nine-year-old Alana is following the program, snacking on grapes, low-fat crackers and low-fat cheese.

The three-month program - called Dean Foods LEAN Families Program is offered at Children's Medical Center Dallas. It focuses on making fitness and nutrition changes for the whole family.

The Dallas program is one of many across the United States trying to tackle the issue of childhood obesity. More than one-third of American children are overweight.  At least 95
children's hospitals have similar programs.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows some encouraging results for intensive family programs. Children kept up their healthier routine the entire year.

As they grew taller, their body mass index fell even though their weight stayed the same.

The Dallas program costs about 13-hundred dollars per family with discounts for those who don't have insurance that covers it.