Long Island Center for Pediatric Obesity Prevention
The Obesity Center at Stony Brook Children's is a state model in working to combat the crisis levels of obesity in New York. Using a multi-pronged approach, the center reaches out to different segments of the population including women of child-bearing age, pregnant women, infants, children, and people in high need communities.
In collaboration with healthcare providers in Nassau and Suffolk counties, we sponsor initiatives including counseling pregnant women on optimal weight gain, promoting healthy eating by mothers and their infants, creating environments that support breastfeeding, implementing procedures related to the introduction of solids to infants, and helping establish healthy relationships to food.
In addition, the center targets high-need communities through school districts, child care centers and other organizations to run educational, screening, and prevention programs.
Stony Brook Children's has made childhood obesity a priority because of its link to so many chronic, potentially debilitating diseases including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, joint problems, and some types of cancer.
The program was seeded through a five-year $1.33 million grant to the Department of Family Medicine from the New York State Department of Health Obesity Prevention Program. Stony Brook is one of three institutions in the state and the only one on Long Island to receive the grant Center.
Programs through the Center also build on other nutrition education/outreach programs including the Heart Links Projects, which facilitated establishment of policies to improve the school food environment of schools in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and Stony Brook's WIC program, a nutritional and educational supplemental food program for low-income pregnant and breast-feeding women. Partnering agencies include the Nassau County Department of Health, Suffolk County Department of Health, Suffolk County Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Stony Brook Child Care Services.