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