Medical Professional Publications

Sarah Keim, PhD, Co-Investigator on $2.6M NIH Grant to Study Childhood Obesity Prevention

(From the March 2017 issue of Research Now / Adapted from The Ohio State University College of Public Health)

Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University are teaming up on a four-year, $2.6 million NIH study to better understand how parent-child interactions at mealtimes can affect children's obesity risk. The hope is that this research will provide more effective childhood obesity prevention strategies, which can also promote young children's social and emotional development.

Sarah Keim, PhD, principal investigator in the Center for Biobehavioral Health at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's, is serving as a co-investigator on the study.

She is partnering with Sarah Anderson, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology at Ohio State's College of Public Health to conduct a new longitudinal study to determine how the quality of parent-child interactions observed in mealtime and play settings in the home and laboratory impacts changes in weight and body fat through preschool-age, and to identify the aspects of self-regulation that are involved.

In the study, families will be eligible to participate in four study visits (home and "lab") as their child develops from a toddler to a preschool-aged child. 250 children will be enrolled at 18 months and assessed at 24, 36, and 42 months of age at Nationwide Children's and in their homes.

Parent-child interaction during play and during mealtimes at home and in a standardized buffet lunch in the laboratory will be observed and objectively coded. Self-regulation at preschool-age will be assessed using a variety of objective tasks and parent reports.

Rebecca Andridge, associate professor of biostatistics at Ohio State's College of Public Health, and Bharathi Zvara, PhD, research assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, are also serving as co-investigators on this study.

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