This research study will compare results of two different weight management interventions: Exergaming for Health, a multi-faceted weight management program for obese children and more traditional nutritional education classes. Participants should be overweight children who are 8 to 12 years of age with a BMI of 85% or greater. There is no cost incurred for enrolling in this research project.
The children should not have any medical or psychiatric conditions which would preclude their ability to participate in educational classes and moderate intensity exercise, nor should they be taking medications which influence their weight positively or negatively. Enrollment will require a written medical clearance from your primary care physician.
Children will be randomly assigned to the Exergaming for Health program or to nutrition classes at a 2:1 ratio. The nutrition class group will be wait-listed for 6 months during which they will participate in nutritional classes at the end of which they may participate in the exergaming program. They will undergo 10 information based nutrition classes, 5 weekly sessions and 5 monthly maintenance sessions during the 6 month wait-listed time frame.
The Exergaming for Health group will participate in 10 weekly 2-hour sessions at the Peoria Riverplex, our local indoor park district recreation center. The program curriculum comprises: 5 1-hour classes taught by a licensed dietician addressing healthy food choices, portion sizes and overcoming barriers to healthier eating; 5 1-hour classes taught by a licensed counselor addressing psychosocial aspects of overweight such as behavior change and goal setting, positive self-esteem and body image, healthy expressions of emotions and family communication; 5 1-hour facilitated exergaming sessions and 5 1-hour combined exergaming/traditional exercise sessions(e.g. dodgeball, yoga, jazzercise, bodypump, walk/run on a track) . There will also be 4 monthly maintenance meetings following the intensive phase of the program.
We will require 6 months of participation from our two intervention groups and availability for measurements and administration of questionnaires after 1 year from enrollment. We will measure weight, height, blood pressure, heart rate waist circumference and cardiovascular fitness at the start, 6 months and 12 months of the project. We will also request completion of questionnaires reflecting the child's nutrition, screen time behaviors, attitudes about physical activity at the start, 6 months and 12 months of the project. We will measure activity levels with a pedometer during week1, week 24 and week 52 of the study. Our first group of subjects will begin in April 2011 and our goal is to complete 7 groups of 140 participants over a 2 year period.
To see if your child would be eligible to enroll, contact: