Childhood obesity is a widening problem all over the country, but Cleveland seems to be on the front edge of creating at kids. 33% of kids nationwide are considered obese; that number is 40% in Cleveland.
As the problem expands so too have efforts to understand the causes and deal with the effects. One of the most ambitious and largest studies ever launched on the topic will include more than 400 families in Cleveland.
The projects will cost close to $50 million and involve four major cities. Locally, three researchers from Case Western will recruit 450 students from 50 Cleveland schools to participate in the study, which will last seven years.
Details about the plans after the jump.
The study will therefore compare several ways of intervening in the lives of overweight and obese children, each a little more complex and involving more of the child's environment.
A control group of kids will receive what is considered "usual care" — education on nutrition, exercise and how to live a healthier life.
A second group of children, in what is called the "HealthyChange" group, will use individual motivational and problem-solving skills to cut down barriers to healthy living such as removing the TV from a child's bedroom to improve sleeping habits or planning family walks to increase exercise at home.
The last group, called "SystemChange," will follow a model developed by the last principal investigator, Shirley Moore, associate dean for research and director of the Center of Excellence in Self-Management Research at CWRU's nursing school.