News Releases

News Releases

For Immediate Release

New Book From Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Obesity Expert Offers Families Clear Guidelines, Not Gimmicks, for Weight Loss

What distinguishes the new book on combating childhood obesity written by a nationally recognized obesity expert from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, is what it doesn't include - diets or other weight loss gimmicks.

Instead, Child Obesity: A Parent's Guide to a Fit, Trim, and Happy Child, by Goutham Rao, MD, offers parents advice - well-founded in medical research - on changing lifestyles and behaviors that lead to obesity. For instance, Dr. Rao advises, eliminate soft drinks and a child would lose an average of 10 pounds a year.

Child Obesity, published by Prometheus Books, is available from booksellers beginning this week. Dr. Rao is clinical director of the Weight Management and Wellness Center at Children's Hospital and an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

"As a society, we're always looking for the easy solution that will help us lose weight and lose it quickly. But there is no magic pill for treating childhood obesity," Dr. Rao said. "Parents need to understand the scope of the childhood obesity epidemic, the potential health consequences, and the lifestyle changes the entire family must make in order to raise happy and healthy children. This book gives parents all of that information so they can be as informed as possible."

The first part of the book explores the scope of the childhood obesity epidemic. Dr. Rao identifies five principal culprits for childhood obesity:

  • Soft drinks (which he calls "liquid candy")
  • Fast food
  • Television and video games
  • The inactivity of children both at school and home
  • The changing patterns of family behavior, which have led to irregular meal times and over-consumption of "convenience" foods

In the second half of the book, Dr. Rao explains a rational approach to helping children achieve or maintain a healthy weight, including the science of changing people's behavior. Included are typical stories of families who have successfully helped their children achieve a healthy weight by following practical advice, well-grounded in science, without resorting to diets or weight-loss gimmicks.

Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980. Among children and teens aged 6 - 19 years, 16 percent (more than 9 million young people) are considered overweight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many diseases that were previously only seen in adulthood, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep disorders and some cancers.

Learn more about Children's Weight Management and Wellness Center.

Learn how you can purchase the book, Child Obesity: A Parent's Guide to a Fit, Trim, and Happy Child, by Goutham Rao, MD.

Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919 or 412-692-5016,
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5502 or 412-692-5016,

Last Update
April 11, 2014
  • Increase/Decrease Text Size
  • Print This Page
Last Update
April 11, 2014