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UB med school wins $8.8 million grant to fight childhood obesity

A University at Buffalo professor will use an $8.8 million grant to help treat more than 1,000 overweight or obese children and parents at primary care offices in Buffalo, Rochester, Columbus and St. Louis.

The National Institutes of Health awarded the grant to Leonard Epstein, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, in an effort to make family-based weight-loss programs more widely available.

Family programs have been successful in helping obese children achieve a more healthy weight, but they typically are located in specialty clinics, out of reach to the general public.

“The purpose of this grant is to implement and evaluate highly successful family-based obesity treatment in the primary care setting, an optimal setting given the established relationship between patients and their primary care providers,” said Epstein, who is division chief of behavioral medicine in the department of pediatrics.

The programs will start in spring 2017 and will include several primary care practices in Western New York.

For more information on how to participate, call 829-6816.

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