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Weight Management and Ethnicity
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Weight Management and Ethnicity

Ethnicity, Insurance Type, and Follow-up in a Pediatric Weight Management Program

Weight Management Study - Aim
To assess the characteristics of children and adolescents who drop out of a clinical weight management program.

Weight Management Study - Methods
A retrospective survey of children and adolescents attending a pediatric weight management program was undertaken. Characteristics of children (age, relative weight, gender, and ethnicity) who dropped out of the program were compared with characteristics of those who continued beyond the initial assessment as a function of type of insurance.

Weight Management Study - Results
The children who dropped out of the program after the initial assessment differed by ethnicity from those who continued in the program: 63 percent of white children returned for more than one visit, whereas only 35 percent of the African-American children continued in the program. Indemnity insurance coverage was associated with more clinic visits, as compared with managed care insurance. The association between insurance type and clinic visit number was of borderline significance (p = 0.06), when ethnic group was added to this analysis.

Weight Management Study - Issues
Ethnicity is associated with attendance in a Pediatric Weight Management Program. Given the epidemic of obesity in children and adolescents, issues related to program compliance must be assessed to improve overall outcome. This is especially important given the high rate of obesity among African Americans and the low rate of ongoing attendance observed among African Americans in the Weight Management Program.

Source: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. 2003

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