Participants sought for UH Shape Up! Keiki study about childhood obesity

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

A research team at the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center is looking to recruit nearly 400 children, ages 0-5 years old, for a study that will create advanced body shape models using 3-D scans.

Photo courtesy of University of Hawaiʻi

UH Cancer Center researcher John Shepherd was awarded $3.1 million from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to discover body composition technologies that can detect health outcomes of obesity among young children. Shepherd and his team hope to recruit 360 children for the study, Shape Up! Keiki.

Obese adolescents have their most rapid weight gain before the age of 5 and are usually already obese by that age. The 3-D scans will provide detailed descriptions of how body shape and composition are related to obesity-related risk factors, including high blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels and risk for developing cancer among children in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.

“The inclusion of our diverse population in Hawaiʻi for this specific study will help us to more fully understand the extent of health inequities and the mechanisms in which to address them,” Shepherd said in a press release.


Recent research suggests that interventions to prevent obesity and metabolic diseases later in life need to be implemented in early childhood. Because of limited pediatric obesity research and lack of appropriate body composition technologies, studies such as Shape Up! Keiki are needed to explore innovative technologies to assess and understand the risk factors of metabolic diseases.

Parents interested in enrolling keiki in the study can click here for more details. To contact the study team, call 808-440-5234 or email [email protected].

The UH Cancer Center is one of only 71 research institutions designated by the National Cancer Institute. It is dedicated to eliminating cancer through research, education, patient care and community outreach with an emphasis on the unique ethnic, cultural and environmental characteristics of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.


For more information about the cancer center, click here. You can also follow the center on Facebook and Twitter.

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments