SOURCE: AAOS

June 18, 2008 12:50 ET

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American Academy of Pediatrics Join Forces to Help Battle Childhood Obesity

ROSEMONT, IL--(Marketwire - June 18, 2008) - With childhood obesity at epidemic levels, two leading medical organizations, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), are working together to help overweight and obese children manage their growing waistlines.

The AAOS and the AAP have produced a joint print Public Service Announcement (PSA), to help parents encourage their children to eat healthier and exercise more.

"The high incidence of obesity in children and adolescents is still a huge cause for concern," says AAOS President Tony Rankin, MD. "Incorporating physical activity and a healthy diet into a child's daily routine, certainly creates a strong musculoskeletal frame, which is a step in the right direction. This new ad aims to educate both children and adults about changing their exercise and eating habits, so they can live stronger and healthier lives."

The PSA, which includes the headline "Once, kids played like their lives depended on it. If only kids still did" depicts a modern-day, overweight child sitting on the low end of a see-saw. On the high end are three healthy, active children from an earlier generation that had a positive attitude about food and physical activity.

The release of the PSA coincides with a recent report from the Journal of the American Medical Association last month stating that although the obesity epidemic may have reached a plateau, a third of U.S. children remain overweight, obese or morbidly obese.

"The best way for parents to help their children is to lead by example," says American Academy of Pediatrics President Renee Jenkins, MD, FAAP. "Establish healthy eating habits, lifestyle changes and encourage fun physical activities. By setting realistic weight and exercise goals, you can help your child maintain a positive body image and high self-esteem."

This is the first time both organizations, which represent nearly 95,000 physicians, have joined together to address the problem of childhood obesity. The PSA is being distributed to media outlets nationwide, and can be viewed at http://www6.aaos.org/About/Pemr/PSA/2008/psa2008.cfm or http://www.aap.org/obesity/ObesityMasterPDFSmall.pdf

With more than 31,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons www.aaos.org or www.orthoinfo.org is the premier not-for-profit organization that provides education programs for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals, champions the interests of patients and advances the highest quality musculoskeletal health. Orthopaedic surgeons and the Academy are the authoritative sources of information for patients and the general public on musculoskeletal conditions, treatments and related issues. An advocate for improved patient care, the Academy is participating in the Bone and Joint Decade www.usbjd.org -- the global initiative in the years 2002-2011 -- to raise awareness of musculoskeletal health, stimulate research and improve people's quality of life.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. (aap.org)

To view a media-rich version of this release, go to: http://www.pwrnewmedia.com/2008/aaos061808_PSA/index.html

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