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Center to Research Childhood Obesity

By Kelley Weiss

Kansas City, MO – A new center at Children's Mercy Hospital will focus on preventing and treating childhood obesity. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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The University of Kansas and Children's Mercy Hospital are combining resources to open a center to study why more than 25 percent of Kansas and Missouri children are battling obesity and how to stop the growing epidemic. The Center for Physical Activity, Nutrition and Weight Management will research genetic factors causing obesity in children and will also provide public programs and community outreach. Joe Donnelly, the center's director, says it's imperative to get the community involved to fight childhood obesity.

Joe Donnelly: "We intend to use the best of research to provide state of the art clinical treatment and I think even more importantly translate this to community and education programming in a public health effort to curb the rise of childhood obesity."

Donnelly says the center's goal is to serve 30,000 kids in its first years of operation. It's expected to open within the next two years.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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