Media Coverage

A new study suggests that living in a community with more obesity may be a risk factor for its individual residents to become overweight or obese. An accompanying editorial by Leonard H. Epstein, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of pediatrics, and Xiaozhong, Wen, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, highlights the important clinical and public health implications of the findings. “The idea of obesity being contagious provides a very useful analogy for pediatricians to recognize the association of the social environment with obesity (through social networks and/or social norms). It provides a stimulus to action to learn how to deactivate the ‘virus,’ preventing transmission to future generations,” they write.
Stephanie Anzman-Frasca, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, is quoted in articles about the benefits of continuing to offer healthy foods to picky kids. “This method of simply repeating the child’s exposure to healthy foods has a robust evidence base behind it,” Anzman-Frasca said. “There are many studies with preschoolers who start out not liking red peppers or squash, for example, but after five to six sessions where these foods are repeatedly offered, they end up liking them.” Anzman-Frasca is the lead author of new research that reviewed more than 40 peer-reviewed studies on how infants and young children develop preferences for healthy foods, especially vegetables and fruits.
Stanley A. Schwartz, MD, PhD, UB Distinguished Professor of medicine and pediatrics and division chief of allergy, immunology and rheumatology, is interviewed on the role that pollution plays in the high rates of asthma among minority residents in Buffalo.  Schwartz said that as Rust Belt cities like Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo lost manufacturing jobs, some neighborhoods crumbled. “So, air pollution, lack of good sanitary conditions in inner cities all contribute to why you many see a disparity. And who lives in the inner city? Usually it’s underserved minority individuals, so that goes hand in glove.”
An article interviews a nurse who has worked at Children’s Hospital for 45 years about the medical milestones that have accompanied her career, including the development of Infasurf, created at an Amherst startup company led by Edmund A. Egan, II, MD, professor of pediatrics.
A new study by Stephanie Anzman-Frasca, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, has shown that placemats can be used to encourage children to eat healthier food in restaurants. "Making healthy options appealing and easy to choose offers the potential to increase children's acceptance of them in restaurants,” she said.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that children ages 6 years and older should be screened for obesity by health care providers. The task force suggested clinicians refer children who are screened as overweight or obese to a comprehensive, intensive behavioral intervention for weight control following screening of BMI measurement. Teresa Quattrin, MD, UB Distinguished Professor and chair of pediatrics, suggested that the intervention-based recommendation is largely unattainable due to lack of insurance coverage for such care.
Leonard H. Epstein, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of pediatrics, has been awarded the Hoebel Prize for Creativity by the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, an award that honors members for an exceptional level of creativity and excellence in research on ingestive behavior.
Stephanie Anzman-Frasca, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, is among the researchers on a study that showed that room sharing between babies and mothers beyond the first four months is associated with less sleep for babies and unsafe sleeping practices.
Erie County’s Opioid Task Force is considering a pilot program that would make emergency rooms a first step toward medicine-based recovery of opioid-related problems. Michael A. Manka Jr., MD, assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine, and Gale R. Burstein MD, clinical professor of pediatrics, provide insight on the program.
Mark D. Hicar, MD, PhD, research assistant professor of pediatrics, has been awarded a five-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to study the fraction of the world’s population that can be infected with the virus that causes AIDS but not develop the disease.
Stephanie Anzman-Frasca, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, has conducted research that surveyed parents and children dining at participating restaurants, as well as executives of restaurant chains, to learn more about healthy children’s meals. “Our research can inform the development and implementation of efforts to make healthier choices easier for families in quick- or full-service restaurant settings, an important goal given the regularity with which children consume meals from restaurants,” she said.
Research has shown that poor eating habits can start at birth, according to Xiaozhong Wen, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics. “Dietary patterns are harder to change later if you ignore the first year, a critical period for the development of taste preferences and the establishment of eating habits,” he said.
An article about the new UBMD Pediatrics clinics that opened in early April in the Conventus building in downtown Buffalo reports it is one of three big moves this year to transfer dozens of outpatient clinics and other services from the old Children’s Hospital complex, and quotes Teresa Quattrin, MD, UB Distinguished Professor and chair of pediatrics, who also serves as president and CEO of UBMD Pediatrics.
A four-year trial has shown that teaching preschoolers to regulate their own behavior around food, combined with obesity prevention messages, did not reduce obesity or most obesity-related behaviors. Leonard H. Epstein, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and division chief of behavioral medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, and Stephanie Anzman-Frasca, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, called the study “valuable,” and said that while it didn’t show improving self-regulation impacted on kids’ weight, it’s premature to call the case closed.
A new UB study has shown that obese children with type 2 diabetes are more likely to have poor oral health compared with normal-weight and obese children without the disease. “It turns out that while obese adolescents with Type 2 diabetes typically do have access to dental health, often through federally funded insurance, they do not routinely go to the dentist,” said Lucy D. Mastrandrea, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics.