Survey on the Increasing Childhood Obesity Epidemic

A recently published article in the Journal of Pediatrics entitled “Integrating Oral Health to the Care of Overweight Children: A Model of Care Whose Time Has Come”(1) reports on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Oral Health Initiative. The AAP has launched this initiative in partnership with the Federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), and with the endorsement of the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and supporting organizations such as Bright Futures.

The overall goal of the initiative is to provide support and tools to improve children’s oral health care to community-based collaborative-care providers, and is intended to encourage collaborations among pediatricians and dental professionals to increase awareness of the connection between oral health and overall health. A main objective is to increase oral health screenings and referrals in the pediatricians’ office.

The recently funded New York State Foundation for Health Living’s Center for Best Practice for the Prevention of Early Childhood Obesity and Overweight and the New York State Dental Association (NYSDA), through the Foundation, are working together to examine this very issue, however, from a different angle. The Center and the Foundation are exploring the possibility of developing and piloting an early childhood obesity screening and prevention tool kit for pediatric dentists to encourage strong consistent messaging between pediatricians and dental professionals.

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. Your responses will be tremendously helpful in determining how pediatricians and dental professionals can work together to help fight the rapidly increasing childhood obesity epidemic.
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(1) SG Grossi, DN Collier, RM Perkin. Integrating Oral Health to the Care of Overweight Children: A Model of Care Whose Time Has Come. Journal of Pediatrics. 2008:52:451-2.

Name (optional): 


A red asterisk (*) indicates required questions.


  1. Please enter your 5-digit New York State dentist or dental hygienist license number (This will not be used for any other purpose, other than to verify that a dentist or dental hygienist completed this survey):*


  1. Are you aware that there is a growing body of research indicating a strong correlation between early dental caries and early childhood overweight and obesity?*
    Yes
    No


  1. Have you observed an increase in overweight and obesity among your 2-5 year old patients?*
    Yes. If yes, please continue to question #5
    No. If no, please continue to question #4


  1. If you answered "no" to question #3, do you currently have patients who are 2-5 years old?
    Yes
    No


  1. Are you currently providing any health prevention and screening programs to your pediatric patients?*
    Yes. If yes, please continue to question #6
    No. If no, please continue to question #7


  1. If you answered "yes" to question #5, please identify what prevention and screening programs you are currently using.


  1. Does your practice have the ability to assess children's weight?*
    Yes. If yes, continue to question #9.
    No. If no, please continue to question #8.


  1. If you answered "no" to question #7, please check all of the following that apply:
    Practice does not have a height/weight measurement tool
    Practice staff does not have time to assess weight status of patients
    Assessing weight is not an appropriate activity for a dental visit
    Other


  1. Are you interested in learning more about the early childhood obesity epidemic and available educational materials that promote early childhood obseity prevention and screening programs?*
    Yes
    No