Nutritional Disorders Telehealth Network Project
Problems affecting childhood nutrition are increasingly common. Feeding disorders affect up to 45% of typically developing children and up to 80% of developmentally disabled children. Childhood obesity rates have risen steadily, with current estimates at approximately 17%, disproportionately affecting minority youth. Unfortunately, access to primary and preventative health services for diagnosis and treatment of nutritional disorders are limited due to the lack of local specialists and access to them. The goal of this project is to increase local provider expertise, ultimately increasing access to care of nutritional disorders in underserved communities. Our hope is to expand access to needed care in underserved communities that will prevent the onset of more severe and difficult to treat medical conditions.
Problems associated with feeding and undernutrition are becoming increasingly common. These problems include but are not limited to: failure to thrive, food refusal, selectivity by texture, selectivity by food type, oral motor delays, dysphagia, inappropriate mealtime behaviors, and a lack of developmentally appropriate feeding skills. Many of these problems, if discovered early, can be quickly treated by medical professionals. However, if left untreated, they may develop into life-threatening illnesses. The consequences of undernutrition can be severe, and children who suffer from them are at risk for a variety of physical, social, and psychological problems. Undernutrition problems are caused and maintained by a variety of biological, behavioral, and environmental factors.
Screening for Undernutrition
Children who eat too much have an increased risk for becoming obese. Obesity has quickly become on of the most common nutritional disorders seen among young children, and the rates continue to rise making it a serious public health concern. Typically, children who have a BMI in the 85th percentile or greater are considered overweight or obese. The causes of obesity can be attributed to both genetic and environmental factors; however, it is most commonly linked to the overconsumption of calories as compared to the amount of calories the body uses for energy. The consequences associated with childhood obesity are detrimental to the health and well-being of the child. Children who are overweight have an increased risk of developing many weight-related medical conditions, such as Type II Diabetes.
Screening for Overnutrition