Article Text

  1. H. Angell
  1. University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA


Purpose of Study Odessa Brown Children's Clinic provides health care to a largely minority, lower-income, underserved community. National rates of obesity have been increasing at higher rates within lower socioeconomic classes and for African Americans. The incidence and prevalence of most obesity-related diseases are higher in this population and are expected to climb further. This study is aimed at improving understanding of the term “body mass index” (BMI) and enhancing receptivity to overweight management interventions.

Methods A community partnership program had already been initiated to educate overweight and at-risk-for-overweight children and refer them to outside services. BMI is the measurement looked at for overweight diagnosis. The existing material provided by the clinic did not include an explanation of BMI and patients and their families demonstrated a lack of understanding of the term and its implications.

Results A BMI insert was designed to provide a clear and concise explanation of this key concept and complement existing materials. A review of existing materials and discussion with clinic providers guided the insert structure and language level appropriate for the patient population with relatively low literacy. Content was derived from the CDC and American Obesity Association Web sites. Literature review provided background and a more complete picture of the pediatric overweight epidemic, preventive care, and treatment approaches.

Discussion The insert will provide clarification of the BMI measurement. An understanding of BMI is key to patients' acknowledgment of its value in their overweight diagnosis and thus to their commitment to changing their lifestyle and achieving a healthier body.

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