By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Local researchers modified an expensive, labor-intensive, hospital-based obesity program to see if it would work at the local community center.

The successful clinic based program closely monitors a child’s eating and exercise habits while offering hands-on help and education, but Gary Foster, director of Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education admits not every family has access, so he took the program to kids at a community center.

“Almost 50 percent of the children were literally off the charts at the 99th percentile for height and weight, suggesting that there’s a lot of pent-up demand out there for effective childhood obesity treatment programs that are available in the community.”

Foster says weight, food choice and activity levels were monitored during the program conducted at the community center and in the child’s home.

“Everybody knows they should eat a banana versus a banana split, but the ‘how-to’ part of that is really difficult, so that’s what these groups are about. We give people weekly goals and help them work through those goals on a weekly basis.”

He says the modifications worked and obesity rates dropped 10 percent.

Top Content On CBSPhilly

Watch & Listen LIVE