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Childhood Obesity Study

The etiology of childhood obesity has not been extensively studied in Newfoundland & Labrador. A poor diet containing high fat and sugar, with less vegetable and fruit contents in combination with reduced physical activity might be the driving force for the rising prevalence of childhood obesity. There is no doubt that genetic factors are responsible for the large individual difference of body fat and the predisposition to fat accumulation.

The present study was designed to investigate the genetic factors using a candidate gene approach. This study has been funded by Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) as a pilot study. A total of 200 families with at least one obese child from the province of Newfoundland & Labrador will be recruited. Nutritional information, physical activity level and medical history will be collected through standard questionnaires. Serum samples will be taken and an oral glucose tolerance test will be performed. Genomic DNA from the child and both parents will be extracted from whole blood or saliva. Total body fat and fat distribution will be measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

If you are interested in the study, you may contact Dr. Tracy Bridger (777-4387 and tracey.bridger@easternhealth.ca),  Dr. Guang Sun (777-8661; gsun@mun.ca) or Michael King michael.king@mun.ca