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NIH-funded studies aim to prevent, treat childhood obesity
Date:9/9/2010

The National Institutes of Health is launching two major research efforts, totaling $72.5 million, to examine ways to curtail the nation's childhood obesity epidemic. One will study long-term approaches to prevent or treat childhood obesity, and the other will examine community efforts to reduce childhood obesity rates.

"Childhood obesity is a major public health concern. If we don't curb this widespread problem, our country will see a substantial increase in cardiovascular disease and other health issues in the years ahead," said Susan B. Shurin, M.D., acting director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the lead sponsor for both programs. "Childhood is the optimal time to encourage healthy habits that kids can practice the rest of their lives."

The NIH's $49.5 million Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research (COPTR) program is among the first long-term obesity prevention and treatment research studies in children. Two obesity prevention and two obesity treatment randomized clinical trials will be conducted over seven years. COPTR is sponsored by the NHLBI, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). COPTR will test methods for preventing excessive weight gain in non-overweight and moderately overweight youth, and methods for reducing weight in obese and severely obese youth. Investigators will collaborate with local, state, and national organizations on these efforts.

The two obesity prevention trials will develop and test approaches that target home, community, and primary care settings for preschool children living in low income and ethnically diverse neighborhoods. The two obesity treatment trials will examine obesity therapies on overweight and obese children 7 to 14 years old in school and home settings in collaboration with local youth organizations.

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Contact: NHLBI Office of Communications
nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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