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Study Finds Parental Involvement Key in Reducing Childhood Obesity

Posted on March 29, 2011

A study released today in Pediatrics found that an obesity reduction program that combined twice-weekly exercise sessions for children with once-weekly nutrition and behavior modification classes for children and parents resulted in improvements in body weight, body composition, blood lipids and insulin that were sustained for 2 years after the intervention.

The findings of this study are particularly noteworthy because the study specifically targeted ethnically diverse children with very high BMIs. The intervention took place in disadvantaged, inner-city areas and was offered in both Spanish and English. The study was the first to provide long-term results in a disadvantaged or minority population. The study also shows the importance of including parents in nutrition education programs in order to promote long-term adoption of healthier lifestyles.

Several Schubert Center Faculty Associates conduct research and other programs that aim to reduce the prevalence of obesity in children.

  • Dr. Marilyn Lotas developed a partnership with Cleveland Metropolitan School District to screen 4th and 7th grade children for hypertension and obesity.
  • Dr. Elaine Borawski and Dr. Leona Cuttler are both involved with Case’s Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN). The PRCHN has several programs aimed at improving access to healthy foods, teaching youth about nutrition and promoting physical activity to reduce childhood obesity.

Read a brief LA Times article on the study.

Read the study on Pediatrics’ website.

Download a policy brief on Dr. Lotas’s program to screen children in CMSD for hypertension and obesity.

Page last modified: February 19, 2014