Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Childhood obesity interventions must begin early

15.04.2010
To be a truly comprehensive and successful anti-obesity program, First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign must include interventions that target pregnant women, infants, and pre-school-age children, UCSF experts say.

Janet Wojcicki, PhD, MPH, UCSF assistant professor of pediatrics, and Melvin Heyman, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics and chief of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at UCSF Children's Hospital, discuss how "Let's Move" might have the greatest impact on reversing the childhood obesity epidemic in the New England Journal of Medicine. Their perspective piece is available online at http://content.nejm.org/ and will appear in the April 21, 2010, issue of the journal.

When the First Lady introduced "Let's Move" in February 2010, she outlined the campaign's central anti-obesity strategies. These include revamping the nutritional labeling of products by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, improving the nutritional standards of school lunches, increasing opportunities for children to engage in physical activity, and improving access to high-quality foods throughout the country.

According to Wojcicki and Heyman, these intervention strategies do have the potential to alter the course of the childhood obesity epidemic to some extent. However, because "Let's Move" focuses primarily on school-age children – many of whom already are overweight or obese – the program in its current form does not constitute a truly comprehensive obesity intervention plan.

"These types of behavioral and nutrition interventions in schools or within the home have only limited success in preventing weight gain in children," the authors say. "Obesity prevention must start as early as possible, since school-age children already have an unacceptably high prevalence of obesity and associated medical conditions."

The authors cite the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which found that nearly one-third of American children two years and older are overweight or obese, and even higher proportions among low-income children and ethnic minorities.

With those numbers in mind, Wojcicki and Heyman assert that in order to have the greatest impact, "Let's Move" must include prevention efforts that directly target pregnant women, infants and pre-school-age children.

"Including prevention efforts for these groups will have the longest-term effect on the obesity epidemic in the United States," they say.

For example, Wojcicki and Heyman recommend that "Let's Move" incorporate interventions that aim to reduce weight gain and cigarette smoking in mothers-to-be. Studies have shown that excessive weight gain and smoking during pregnancy each are associated with an increased risk for obesity later in life.

The authors also advocate for interventions designed to increase the amount of time infants are breastfed and the amount of sleep babies get, as shorter-than-recommended durations of breastfeeding and suboptimal amounts of sleep also put a child at greater risk for becoming obese. According to Wojcicki and Heyman, these types of interventions are crucial to include in a comprehensive obesity prevention effort, because they affect a child's lifetime risk of obesity.

"By directly emphasizing the potential risks for lifetime obesity that present in infancy and early childhood and providing the structure and direction for interventions in these areas, the campaign could increase its overall impact on reversing the childhood obesity epidemic," they conclude.

Wojcicki currently is investigating pre- and post-natal factors that might shape future dietary habits and the development of obesity in a group of Latino families. The children are entering their third year of life, and already Wojcicki and her team of researchers at UCSF have found patterns of eating behavior that may lead to future weight problems. Wojcicki's research is supported by funding in part from the NIH and from philanthropic support.

UCSF Children's Hospital creates an environment where children and their families find compassionate care at the forefront of scientific discovery, with more than 150 experts in 50 medical specialties serving patients throughout Northern California and beyond. The hospital admits about 5,000 children each year, including 2,000 babies born in the hospital. For more information, visit http://www.ucsfchildrenshospital.org.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

Follow UCSF on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ucsfnews

Related Links:

UCSF Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition Research:
http://www.pediatrics.medschool.ucsf.edu/gi/research/studies/
index.aspx#nutrition

Kate Vidinsky | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsf.edu
http://www.ucsfchildrenshospital.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

nachricht New antibody analysis accelerates rational vaccine design
09.08.2018 | Scripps Research Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>