Obesity study on kids coming
A STUDY is to be done on children in Barbados to determine whether there is a link between obesity and early contracting of chronic diseases.
Funded by the Arnott Cato Foundation, the children’s health and nutrition study will determine the body composition and dietary intake patterns among Barbadian school students in primary schools; and investigators will examine dietary intakes, physical activity, attitudes and beliefs surrounding sedentary and active behaviours among children aged nine and ten and their relationships to body composition and occurrence of co-existing diseases.
Measurements will include dietary recall, physical activity from report and parental recall, measurement of weight, height, waist and fat-free mass and determination of percentage of body fat, parents’ recall of disease occurrence and symptoms of disease in the child.
Dr Anne St John, consultant paediatrician at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, will coordinate the project along with Dr Pamela Gaskin of the University of the West Indies’ Faculty of Medical Sciences.
St John explained that the findings will be used to make “recommendations for screening and interventions in the hope of improving the health status of children on the island”.
A pilot project was performed about one year ago by Gaskin, with help from students of McGill University. Vital information on the methods and potential barriers was obtained.
The current project involves a representative sample of primary schools.
A consent form and leaflet explaining the project details, aims and activities will be distributed to classes for completion by parents or guardians.
The final goal of this project is to develop interventions that can inform recommendations for screening, monitoring, evaluation and culture-specific policy development that can help to prevent the development of obesity among primary school children.
Commenting on the project, chairman of the Arnott Cato Foundation, Sir Carlisle Burton, said the foundation was pleased to be able to provide funding.
“We look forward to the results and hope that the findings will contribute in a major way towards assisting health care providers to detect chronic diseases early in childhood and to be able to combat the development of chronic diseases among young children,” he said. (PR)