PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's a story that seems to be in the headlines almost every day. Experts say childhood obesity if one of the worst epidemic facing this generation.
A new study published in the British Medical Journal finds obese children may be at an even higher risk for heart disease and health problems later in life. Fighting this epidemic was the focus of a Conference that wrapped up in Portland Friday.
School nutrition, sleep and obesity, what to do to prevent lifelong obesity were just some of the topics discussed at the two day conference sponsored by Maine Health and the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the obesity rate among children across the county has tripled since 1980.
But doctors say more and more Maine children are changing behaviors thanks to the 5-2-1-0 message.
Also discussed at the conference, a program encouraging doctors to talk to their patients different called motivational interviewing skills.
'Let the patient do more talking than the physician does, hear with my ears instead of teaching directly and then working with patients, where do they want to make a change and try to make goals based on that change,' said Dr. Jonathan Fanburg a pediatrician with Maine Health. The 5-2-1-0 progam is in 250 schools across Maine.