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LSUHSC'S Sothern pens new book on safe exercise for overweight kids

New Orleans, LA Safe and Effective Exercise for Overweight Youth by Melinda Sothern, PhD, Director of Behavioral & Community Health Sciences and Professor of Research at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health, provides exercise recommendations and guidelines specifically designed for overweight youth. The book addresses the challenges specific to overweight and obese youth including hypertension, asthma, type 2 diabetes, weakened muscles, joint vulnerability and heightened injury risk to assist the health care provider in selecting safe and effective exercises for these children.

"In addition to physiologic, metabolic and biomechanical differences, children who suffer from overweight and obesity face greater psychological challenges when engaging in physical activity with leaner children," says Dr. Sothern, who is also a clinical exercise physiologist.

The book, based upon Dr. Sothern's decades of scientific research and clinical experience, is a best practices model for implementing clinical and recreational-based physical activity interventions. It provides recommendations for type, intensity, duration and frequency of exercise for the management of childhood obesity. It includes 40 lesson plans based on age, gender, medical condition and level of obesity. There are guidelines for aerobic, strength and flexibility training as well as motivational tools, tracking techniques, outcome measurements. Printable forms can be used in clinical practice or community and field settings. CRC Press published Safe and Effective Exercise for Overweight Youth.

The number of obese children between the ages of 6 and 11 has tripled over the last thirty years, and the prevalence of obese pre-school children has doubled. "Health care providers should consider exercise an essential adjunct to pediatric weight management, but must understand the capabilities, differences in response and special needs of this group to choose safe and effective physical activities for them," notes Dr. Sothern. "My goal in writing this book was to provide a scientifically supported and clinically relevant source of information to guide those selections."

During more than two decades of childhood obesity research and clinical practice, Dr. Sothern's contributions significantly advanced knowledge of this complex disorders. Best known for her work in promoting active play as a means of preventing and treating childhood obesity, Dr. Sothern led her field in establishing standardized guidelines for prescribing exercise for children with increasing levels of obesity. Her research is widely published in a multitude of peer-reviewed scientific journals and two scientific textbooks, The Handbook of Pediatric Obesity: Clinical Management (Taylor and Francis, 2006) and The Handbook of Pediatric Obesity: Etiology, Pathophysiology and Prevention (Taylor and Francis, 2005). She also senior-authored a popular press book for parents to use in conjunction with their pediatrician or family physician entitled Trim Kids (2001, Harper Collins).


Contact: Leslie Capo
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

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