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Study to Identify Infants at High Risk for Developing Obesity
Date:3/15/2010

Research being conducted at Children's Memorial Hospital may be able to identify infants at high risk of developing childhood-onset obesity by measuring a newborn baby’s body fat within the first 48 hours after birth. The medical device making this possible is called the Pea Pod® Infant Body Composition System. Located at Prentice Women’s Hospital, Pea Pod is a fast, non-invasive mechanism to measure newborn body fat.

Chicago (Vocus) March 15, 2010 -- Research being conducted at Children's Memorial Hospital may be able to identify infants at high risk of developing childhood-onset obesity by measuring a newborn baby’s body fat within the first 48 hours after birth. The medical device making this possible is called the Pea Pod® Infant Body Composition System. Located at Prentice Women’s Hospital, Pea Pod is a fast, non-invasive mechanism to measure newborn body fat.

The baby is weighed, measured and then slid comfortably into the Pea Pod, a pressure controlled device the size of a crib. The Pea Pod uses an air displacement plethysmography technique to analyze the infant’s body composition, specifically, the density of fat and lean tissue. Within minutes of simply lying in the small machine, researchers are given the percentage of the baby’s fatty tissue —or adiposity—thought to be an early life-factor that increases the risk of onset childhood obesity.

“Previous research has looked at birth weight and how it relates to risk of obesity, and babies at either extreme – low birth weight or high birth weight are considered at risk for obesity later in life,” said principal researcher Jami Josefson, MD, pediatric endocrinologist at Children’s Memorial Hospital and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Most children who are obese, however, had a norm
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