Childhood Obesity Subject of TAMIU Researchers National Presentation
Posted: 4/21/11

Childhood Obesity Focus of TAMIU Faculty
Presentation at Sports Medicine Conference

Dr. Kyung-Shin Park
Dr. Kyun-Shin Park, TAMIU professor… presents research at National Conference

A summer lifestyle intervention that combines physical activity, nutritional education and a diet program can have positive effects on overweight Hispanic children, new research by a Texas A&M InternationalUniversity (TAMIU) faculty member has found.

Dr. Kyung-Shin Park, TAMIU assistant professor of education, will present his findings at the prestigious American College of Sports Medicine’s annual meeting in Denver, Colo., in June.

Dr. Park conducted his research, titled, “Effects of an 8-Week Lifestyle Intervention Program on Body Composition and Lipid Profiles in Hispanic Children,” last summer. The study monitored 21 overweight students aged 9-16 who participated in data collection. Students, mostly from Laredo, participated in a special camp where they followed a program including martial arts, recreational activities, aerobics and strength training as well as lectures focusing on nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle.

The 8-week program improved body composition, level of physical fitness and blood lipid profiles in participants, Park said.

“Taken together, it is suggested that summer intervention in physical activity and food intake is a very effective tool to prevent or reduce obesity in Hispanic children,” Park said.

He noted that the results have prompted him to organize a Children’s Summer Weight Control Camp that will be offered at TAMIU June 6. Offered by the College of Education, the camp is designed for children and adolescentsages 7-15 living in Laredo.

At the Camp, each child will participate in three-hour exercises and an hourlecture five days per week for four or eight weeks. Also, a certified dietitian will observe participants’ diet patterns every week and give them a recommended diet program.

“They will enjoy physical activity and also learn a healthy lifestyle,” Park said, “Further enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence through this camp will also help improve academic performance as well as the quality of their lives in the future.”

The cost of participation in the Children’s Summer Weight Control Camp for non-research participants is $250 for four weeks. Camp cost for research participants will be $400, for a camp duration of eight weeks.Research participants will receive an additional gift card for each follow-up test, which consists of a 5 ml blood draw from the arm to measure the level of inflammatory protein and lipid profile in the blood.

Registration will be accepted May 16 – 20, Park said.

“It is very important to control body fat and to have a healthy lifestyle in childhood because the number of body fat cells is determined at this age and remains constant thereafter,” Park said, “Since the number of fat cell does not change, weight loss in adulthood will end up in a yo-yo syndrome.”

Park added that parents who notice that their children are overweight should act now to correct the situation.

“If you worry about your child being overweight, it is better to do something about it when your child is young and still has many chances to reverse this,” Park said, “It is much easier and much cheaper.”

For moreinformation, please contact Dr. Park at 326.2685, email kpark@tamiu.edu or visit offices located in the Kinesiology, Wellness and Recreation Center, room 209.

University office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-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