New research study looks to combat childhood obesity

6:02 PM, Jul 2, 2013   |    comments
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ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Thanks to a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, there's a new research project looking to tackle the issue of obesity with children.

Maine, Nebraska, South Dakota, West Virginia and Tennessee are all in the recruiting stage for a two-year research project called iCook.

The University of Maine and it's Cooperative Extension are looking for 100 family pairs in the Ellsworth and Orono area to participate in this new project starting at the beginning of next month.

"We're focusing on cooking together as a family eating together and being physically active and those are the ways we would like to combat childhood obesity," said UMaine Professor of Human Nutrition Adrienne White.  

Family pairs will consist of one, nine to 10 year old kid and the main food preparer.    

"Our favorite slogan is cook together, eat together, and have fun together. We really are emphasizing cooking and eating and playing as a family and grocery shopping as a family so kids can realize where the food is coming from," said Undergrad Research Assistant Carolyn Stocker.    

Once the goal of 100 family pairs are reached, they will then be randomly split into two groups - controlled or treatment.    

"In the treatment group as part of the lessons there's a technology aspect to that and part of it is they will have a video camera and we're asking them to take a video of themselves cooking, eating together as a family and being physically active and then uploading them to a website that we have specifically for our project," said White.    

Both groups will follow the same diet and assessments of height, weight, waist and blood pressure will be taken 4 times over the 2 year period.

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