of cComplications of childhood obesity.
(From The Lancet.)
recent years, childhood
obesity has become a hot topic in pediatrics, on the news and
among families. It has emerged as one of the greatest threats to
the health and well-being of children today, and while investigators
have gained new insight into the physiology involved, treatment
for childhood obesity remains largely ineffective.
In a 2002 issue of The
Lancet, researchers from Children’s Division of Endocrinology
posed the simple question, “Why is substantial long-term weight
loss so difficult to obtain?” They speculated that traditional dietary
interventions might rely too heavily on reduction of fat intake,
while conventional exercise programs ignore fundamental lifestyle
Nevertheless, the researchers are optimistic that straightforward
solutions do exist. Under the direction of David
Ludwig, MD, director of the Optimal
Weight for Life clinic, developing cutting-edge treatment programs.
As part of that effort, Endocrinology is recruiting families for
its Family Nutrition Study, an intensive, 18-month project that
will examine the effectiveness of novel weight loss programs that
combine diet, physical activity and state-of-the-art behavioral
strategies to help families follow a healthy lifestyle.
Children’s staff, employees and patient families may be eligible
to participate. At least one parent and a child age 8 to 12 must
be willing to change their eating habits to lose weight together.
There is no medication involved in the study. Participants will
attend individual family counseling sessions and group workshops.
Separate workshops for parents and children, designed to be both
fun and educational, will include cooking demonstrations, taste
testing, games and discussions. “Families who participate will have
a lot to gain,” says Cara Ebbeling, PhD,
director of the study and a behavioral intervention specialist who
will screen potential participants. “But they will also have to
be very committed. We are enrolling families who have a strong desire
to work together to change their eating habits.”
In addition to the counseling sessions and workshops, that commitment
will include office visits to have their measurements taken and
blood tested, telephone interviews, and use of a pedometer to measure
physical activity. Each child will be compensated for his or her
time and best effort to follow the program with a $200 Toys-R-Us
gift certificate. For more information or to determine if this study
is right for your child and you, call ext. (617) 355-2500 or e-mail