Medical Professional Publications

Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition Pursues Family Approach to Treating Childhood Obesity

(From the August 2017 issue of Research Now)

The Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital has been awarded $1.6 million from the National Institutes of Health for its participation in a multicenter study on childhood obesity. The study is one of the largest family-based childhood obesity studies ever conducted and will be integrated into the primary care setting, allowing the intervention to be widely adopted by family physicians and other pediatric caregivers.

Ihuoma U. Eneli, MD, director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s and principal investigator of the study, hopes to improve access to family weight loss programs, making them available to the general public rather than isolated in specialty clinics. The grant will allow the program to treat more than 600 families across the country.

The University of Buffalo, the University of Rochester, and Washington University in St. Louis join Nationwide Children’s in the investigation of how effective a behavior-altering treatment program involving both children and their parents can be. The treatment involves working with families to change their behaviors and attitudes regarding food, activity and stressful situations. Behavior-focused treatments like this one have been shown to carry a “halo effect” that researchers will also track, where family members see benefit from a patient’s lifestyle changes.

Dr. Eneli’s team will begin recruiting locally in July 2017 in at least three of Nationwide Children’s primary care network practices.

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