February Launch of Childhood Obesity Program at R.I. YMCAs Could Set National Standard

| Dec 31, 2010

Starting in February, Rhode Island's eight YMCAs will participate in JOIN, a 24-week research study on ways to help obese children and teenagers achieve healthier weight. If it meets its goals, it could become the prototype for a nationwide program that would have a direct effect on the treatment of pre-diabetes in children.

The program, designed by the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University in Philadelphia, will involve 150 young people ages six to 17. Eligible youths must be above the 85 percentile for their age group's body mass index and must not have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Participating YMCAs will divide the youths into two groups-six- to 12- year-olds and 13- to 17-year-olds-who will attend a series of evening and weekend classes, with mandatory attendance by a parent or  guardian.

The study's first task will be to track what each participant normally eats and his/her level of physical activity. From there, the young people will be encouraged to gradually shift their focus from so-called "less foods," such as cookies and sugar-sweetened beverages, to so-called "yes foods," such as fruits and vegetables.

At the same time, children who are sedentary and spend hours per day watching television or playing video games will be encouraged to cut back on those activities in small increments and use the time freed up for exercise or other physical activity.

The hope is that children in the study can be encouraged to change eating and exercise habits without having to adapt to drastic, all-at-once changes. For example, the emphasis on "yes" versus "less" foods encourages a greater consumption of "good" calories rather than an outright ban on consuming "bad" calories. 

Study designer and leader Gary D. Foster, PhD, Director of Center for Obesity Research and Education, says JOIN is the first time such a youth-oriented weight-control program has been brought outside an academic setting and introduced into the "real world." If JOIN is successful in having demonstrable effects on children's weight and lifestyles, Dr. Foster sees it becoming the prototype for similar nationwide programs.

The study is funded by UnitedHealth Group, which underwrites a similar program for adults with pre-diabetes at Rhode island YMCAs. Begun in 2008, that program has reduced the risk among pre-diabetic participants of acquiring type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. Like the soon-to-be-launched JOIN program, it emphasizes changes in what food people consume as well as their levels of exercise. 

Source:

Warwick Beacon - YMCA study on childhood obesity could spearhead national program

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Adolescent Boys, Adolescent Girls, Community, Diabetes, Diabetes, Food, Kids & Teens, Pre-Diabetes, Type 2 Issues, Weight Loss


Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Latest
Popular
Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (1)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Comments

Posted by BillRuss on 31 December 2010

This sounds like a very valuable program, depends on way the message is sent and received.


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...


Username: Password:
Comment:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.