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University of Michigan awarded $4.9 million to help reduce obesity in preschool children
Date:3/14/2011

Researchers includes nutrition and child health experts Karen E. Peterson, D. Sc., U-M professor of environmental health sciences, director of the Human Nutrition Program at the U-M School of Public Health, and co-director of the Michigan Nutrition and Obesity Research Center; Alison Miller, Ph.D., assistant research professor at the U-M School of Public Health and assistant research professor at the Center for Human Growth; and Holly Brophy-Herb, Ph.D., and Mildred Horodynski, Ph.D., of Michigan State.

The trial will evaluate the response of 600 Head Start children and their families to the Preschool Obesity Prevention Series (POPS), a curriculum that focuses on obesity-related health behaviors.

Additionally, the team will evaluate the response to the POPS intervention combined with the Incredible Years Series (IYS), an evidence-based program designed to improve preschoolers' emotional and behavioral self-regulation.

The team proposes that combining intervention strategies of POPS and IYS will lead to the greatest improvements in obesity-related health behaviors.

Cooperative Extension and Head Start educators who collaborate in the project will receive training and educational curricula and assist in determining the effectiveness of the program. If successful, the results will be widely disseminated to teachers around the country.

The Michigan Head Start programs will include Jackson Community Action Agency, Michigan Family Resources, Walker, Mich., and EightCAP, headquartered in Greenville, Mich., north of Grand Rapids, Mich.

The grant is awarded through NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). AFRI supports childhood obesity prevention single-function research, education and extension projects; multi-function integrated research, education and extension projects; and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) grants.

The long-term outcome for this program is to reduce
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Contact: Shantell M. Kirkendoll
smkirk@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert  

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University of Michigan awarded $4.9 million to help reduce obesity in preschool children
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