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ARTICLE UnitedHealth Group Report Highlights Steps to Improve Children's Health

UnitedHealth Group Report Highlights Steps to Improve Children's Health

August 28, 2013

A new report by UnitedHealth Group's Center for Health Reform & Modernization proposes practical steps to address the unmet health needs of children. The findings in 100 Percent of Our Future: Improving the Health of America's Children identify initiatives that can be taken to combat health costs for children that now are increasing far faster than for adults.

The Center recommends the following:

  • Expanding proven group prenatal support for pregnant women to cut preterm births and reduce health disparities;
  • Scaling-up new lifestyle and behavioral interventions to successfully fight childhood obesity;
  • Broadening care coordination in Medicaid to improve the health outcomes of underserved children;
  • Supporting specialized networks to advance research and treatment of complex conditions that affect children.

Chronic health conditions are rising among children in America today. Childhood asthma affects almost one in ten children today.  Unprecedented increases in children's type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease are being driven by the fact that one in three children in the United States are obese or overweight.

UnitedHealth Group's JOIN for ME program, which engages the whole family to help children dealing with weight issues, can be scaled nationally to reduce obesity and overweight children by 5 percentage points over 5 years, reducing the number of affected children by 10 million and the number of obese adults by 2 million by 2023.

The complete report and findings can be found on the United Health Group website.