Exercise and Diet Study at TAMIU Needs Boys

Exercise and Diet Study
at TAMIU Needs Boys

If your son is a little gordito or pudgy, help him get started on a healthy lifestyle with a diet and exercise program.

Texas A&M International University’s College of Education sports and fitness program is recruiting male Hispanics from ages eight – 12 who are a slightly overweight to participate in a 10-week study on the effects of proper diet and exercise on obese children.

Participation in this program is free of charge. Deadline to register is Wednesday, June 14.

“We want to develop an active intervention program to treat or prevent childhood obesity, targeting Hispanic male children in Laredo,” said Dr. Sukho Lee, TAMIU assistant professor of fitness and sports.

The study is a collaboration between TAMIU and Texas A&M University and sponsored by Expert Imaging Center of Laredo.

Boys who participate in the study will receive dietary education, training with a personal trainer three times a week, guest pass and parking permit during the training session, a pedometer valued at more than $30, blood tests and results worth more than $300, and an MRI measurement for abdominal fat that usually costs more than $600.

The program will run June - August at TAMIU’s Kinesiology-Convocation Building and Expert Imaging Center of Laredo. Spaces are limited to the first 33 individuals.

Parents who are interested in the program should make plans to one of two informational meetings held on Tuesday, June 13 or Wednesday, June 14 at 5:30 p.m. in Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 430.

TAMIU researcher Dr. Lee said it’s important to limit childhood weight gain, which if unchecked can continue into adulthood.

 “Weight gain that occurs in childhood usually continues into adolescence and on to adulthood, making people more susceptible to becoming obese and putting them at a greater risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, coronary heart disease and high blood pressure,” Lee explained.

 “Recently, we demonstrated that the majority of Hispanic male children, ages six – 13 in Laredo can be classified as obese, based on data from percent body fat. We also demonstrated that major factors resulting in prevalence of obesity in Hispanic male children in Laredo are a low level of physical activity and a high percent of fat calorie intake, and not by the total amount of calorie or extensive media viewing time,” Lee said.

The prevalence of obesity is greater between African-American and Hispanic groups compared to those of whites. Obesity presents numerous problems for the child.

In addition to increasing the risk of obesity in adulthood, childhood obesity is the leading cause of pediatric hypertension, is associated with Type II diabetes mellitus, increases the risk of coronary heart disease, increases stress on the weight-bearing joints, lowers self-esteem, and affects relationships with peers, according to Lee.

For more information, please contact Lee at 326.2672, e-mail slee@tamiu.edu or Rafael Romo at 326.2695 or e-mail rromo@tamiu.edu.

University office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu