Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States and New Mexico. Excess weight early in life greatly increases the risk of severe health complications in adulthood. The Healthy and Fit Children’s Clinic (H&FCC) at Carrie Tingley Hospital treats children ages 2-17 years old who have been referred by their primary pediatrician for elevated BMI (>85th percentile). The goal of this clinic is to partner with families to lower their child’s weight with lifestyle changes before the need for lifelong medication. Childhood obesity is influenced by a number of social determinants of health, but one that permeates throughout is food security. The H&FCC sees patients from a wide variety of backgrounds. Because successful treatment of the child’s weight requires building a plan around each individual, knowing the patients’ food security status is crucial. This project began by implementing a two-question food security survey as standard of care at the H&FCC. Using this data, food security status will be correlated to the most common conditions seen as a result of being overweight or obese. These conditions include hypertension, elevated hemoglobin A1C and type 2 diabetes mellitus, elevated ALT, obstructive sleep apnea, dyslipidemia, and vitamin D deficiency. Prior research has shown a connection between food insecurity and childhood obesity. The patient data at the H&FCC shows a relationship between pediatric obesity and increased prevalence of chronic health conditions. The goal of this project is to directly connect food security status to the incidence of chronic conditions that lead to overall poor health outcomes.
Foos, Kathryne; Janet Page-Reeves; Sylvia Negrete; and Alberta Kong. "Health outcomes as related to food security status at the Healthy and Fit Children’s Clinic." (2021). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hsc_2021_pediatric_research/5