Study shows improved health, reduced overweight and obesity in Pacific-region children

October 30, 2018 by Kelli Abe Trifonovitch, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A community-randomized clinical trial of the Children's Healthy Living Program (CHL), based at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, seeking to sustainably prevent and decrease overweight and obese young children and to improve health in the U.S.-affiliated Pacific region, has decreased overweight and obesity prevalence among Pacific Island children.

The rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes among adults in the Pacific are among the highest in the world. Prevention is needed, and starting in childhood is the best time for prevention because and type 2 diabetes track into adulthood. Obesity among in the U.S.-affiliated Pacific region jurisdictions was 14 percent in 2013.

CHL researchers aimed to change the context in which child overweight and obesity occurs by building strong partnerships for action within communities. Nineteen activities addressed policy, environment, messaging, training and targeted six behaviors (sleep time, screen time, , fruits and vegetables, water and sugar-sweetened beverages).

Among 27 communities and 8,371 children in the community-randomized clinical trial, the CHL decreased overweight and by 3.95 percent among children ages 2 to 8 years.

Primary outcomes measured were community prevalence of overweight and obesity of young children. Secondary outcomes were prevalence of acanthosis nigricans (a skin condition that can indicate diabetes), sleep quality and duration, changes in dietary intake and increased physical activity.

"The intervention reduced the prevalence of young child overweight and and acanthosis nigricans," said Rachel Novotny, principal investigator of the CHL trial and director of the Children's Healthy Living Center of Excellence in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. "Programs that strengthen community networks for healthy living are needed to improve child health in the U.S.-affiliated Pacific region."

Explore further: Home visit program can help prevent toddler obesity

More information: Effect of the Children's Healthy Living Program on Young Child Overweight, Obesity, and Acanthosis Nigricans in the US-Affiliated Pacific Region. A Randomized Clinical Trial JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1(6):e183896. DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.3896

Related Stories

Home visit program can help prevent toddler obesity

January 16, 2018
(HealthDay)—The "Minding the Baby" (MTB) parenting home visiting program can significantly lower rates of obesity in young children, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in Pediatrics.

Obesity prevention guidelines are not followed for preschool children

August 29, 2017
In a study of nearly 400 preschool children, only one child adhered to obesity prevention guidelines over the course of a single day at child care and at home.

Study finds behavioral changes insufficient at preventing early childhood obesity

August 7, 2018
Young children and their families in poor communities were able to make some achievable and sustainable behavioral changes during the longest and largest obesity prevention intervention, but, in the end, the results were ...

Children in well-baby group care 90 percent less likely to be overweight than peers in traditional care

April 19, 2016
A novel approach to preventing overweight/obesity in young children by replacing traditional, individual well-child care with a series of group visits that emphasize nutrition-focused interventions during the first 18 months ...

Cautious optimism as childhood obesity rates in Ireland plateau

October 13, 2014
Childhood overweight and obesity rates have plateaued in primary school aged children in the Republic of Ireland, reveals research published today in the open access journal BMC Public Health. The study found that although ...

Childhood obesity and overweight rates rise during summer break, not during school year

November 2, 2016
Increases in overweight and obesity rates among young children occur during summer vacations, not during the school year, according to new research from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.

Recommended for you

Can't exercise? A hot bath may help improve inflammation, metabolism, study suggests

November 14, 2018
Hot water treatment may help improve inflammation and blood sugar (glucose) levels in people who are unable to exercise, according to a new study. The findings are published ahead of print in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Simple tips can lead to better food choices

November 13, 2018
A few easily learned tips on eating and food choice can increase amount of healthy food choices between 5 percent and 11 percent, a new Yale University study has found.

Study finds that in treating obesity, one size does not fit all

November 13, 2018
Analyzing data from more than 2,400 obese patients who underwent bariatric weight-loss surgery, researchers identified at least four different patient subgroups that diverge significantly in eating behaviors and rate of diabetes, ...

Exercise makes even the 'still overweight' healthier: study

November 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Heavyset folks who exercise regularly shouldn't get discouraged if they can't seem to shed more weight, no matter how hard they try.

Scientists shine new light on link between obesity and cancer

November 12, 2018
Scientists have made a major discovery that shines a new, explanatory light on the link between obesity and cancer. Their research confirms why the body's immune surveillance systems—led by cancer-fighting Natural Killer ...

Diabetic foot ulcers heal quickly with nitric oxide technology

November 12, 2018
Diabetic foot ulcers can take up to 150 days to heal. A biomedical engineering team wants to reduce it to 21 days.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.