Monday, April 19, 2010

Fighting Obesity at the Children's Nutrition Research Center

Dr. Morey Haymond recently gave me a tour of the Texas Children's Hospital campus in Houston, which is home to the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center. This facility is one of six of its kind in the nation and also the largest. On top of this multi-story building in downtown Houston is a greenhouse where plants are grown and research is conducted to determine the nutrient content of plants. Additional work is done to determine how our bodies absorb proper nutrients. Dr. Tom Baranowski, professor of pediatrics, complements these studies through behavioral research projects that will hopefully result in healthier lifestyle choices.

Along with Dr. Dennis Bier, director of the Children's Nutrition Research Center, these doctors and their colleagues are working diligently to fight the obesity crisis our nation faces today. More than a major health concern, the obesity crisis is draining precious resources and causing unnecessary expenses, which means taxpayers are picking up the tab for poor eating choices.

All Texans should be proud of the work being done at the Children's Nutrition Research Center, which is part of the Baylor College of Medicine. We are fortunate to have some of our nation's leading scientists and researchers right here in the Lone Star State.

There is no silver bullet to winning the battle of the bulge, but with continued research and the daily application of the 3E's of Healthy Living - Education, Exercise and Eating Right, we can begin to reverse this dangerous trend that is robbing our citizens of a quality life and our taxpayers of their hard-earned dollars.

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