Foundations for Fitness: Initial Outcomes from a 10 Week Multidisciplinary, Pediatric Obesity Intervention
Professor Kyle Morrison
Childhood overweight and obesity is a national epidemic and predisposes children to adulthood obesity as well as increases the risk of developing cardiovascular, metabolic, and psychological disorders. Prior research has found that if an individual can engage in lifestyle modification for 10 weeks then the change is more likely to be maintained after the intervention. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a 10-week multidisciplinary intervention program on improving the health outcomes of children aged 7-12 years with a body mass index (BMI) greater than the 85th percentile. Child participants were referred from local pediatric care providers and, of the 15 that began the program, 13 participants completed the 10-week training session. Subjects were assessed for resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, BMI, percent body fat, waist circumference, height and weight. Furthermore, participants completed a quality of life survey and the participating parents filled out a questionnaire assessing the obesogenic factors in the household (FNPA). Prior to pre-program evaluations, the parents of participants completed an informed consent form that was approved by the Hope College Human Subjects Review Board. All child participants participated in the exercise portion of the program and each training session consisted of an hour and a half of physical activity once a week led by Hope College physical education students. Parents of participants simultaneously attended educational sessions on lifestyle modification. At the end of the program waist circumference significantly decreased (p=.027) and improved scores for the FNPA were trending towards significance. The data from the first cohort of this 10-week intervention program will be presented at the research celebration; meanwhile, data collection from the second cohort of the intervention program is currently ongoing.
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