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UB seeks parents, overweight kids for Childhood Weight Control Program

Colleen Kilanowski
Colleen Kilanowski has applied what she’s learned at work, at the UB Childhood Weight Control Program, to her home life in Depew. (Charles Lewis/Buffalo News)

This week’s What are you eating subject in WNY Refresh is Colleen Kilanowski of Depew, a Lancaster High School grad with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University at Buffalo who helps run the UB Childhood Weight Control Program.

She and her colleague, Distinguished UB Teaching Pediatrics Professor Leonard H. Epstein, are recruiting for the next six-month stint of the program, which helps parents and their overweight children, aged 8 to 12, adopt healthier lifestyles. To participate, call 829-6697 or email

There is eligibility criteria for the program, but it is not rigorous. Groups meet on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings.

Epstein, a leading international authority on childhood obesity, runs the parent groups and Kilanowski runs the kid groups.

"It teaches behavioral change, focusing on eating and activity, along with parenting," Kilanowski tells me.

Folks from across the region have participated in the ongoing program, which has been around more than a dozen years.

"The program is at the University at Buffalo South Campus," Kilanowski says, "but we’ve had kids and parents come from as far as Dunkirk."

An orientation will take place later this month and again in August.

Kilanowski  practices at home what she preaches at work.

Her three children all love seafood, as well as most vegetables and bison, turkey and chicken.

"It depends on the kid," she says. "One daughter likes any kind of pasta, one would eat anything and my son is a big meat eater."

But she does temper their food desires with a balanced diet.

"Whatever is served for dinner is dinner," Kilanowski said, "and they’ve learned that."

The family does occasionally eat something on the questionable side of nutrition.

Mom, for instance, loves cheesecake. She treats herself to it about three times a year.

The family used to have pizza once a week, but less frequently these days.

"The kids got sick of it," she says.

Read more Saturday in WNY Refresh.

– Scott Scanlon

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About The Refresh Buffalo Blog

Scott Scanlon

Scott Scanlon

Scott Scanlon is an award-winning reporter and editor who has covered various topics in his quarter-century as a journalist in South Florida, Syracuse and Buffalo. He is aiming to pass along what he is learning these days about health, fitness, nutrition and family life.

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