Case Western Reserve University has received a $12.5 million federal grant to implement a program aimed at reducing childhood obesity.
The program will use “behavioral interventions” to reduce obesity and high blood pressure by increasing physical activity, along with healthy eating, sleeping and stress management, according to a statement from Case. The funding comes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Case’s research project is one of four programs selected to participate in the NIH’s national Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research (COPTR) initiative. The Cleveland, Ohio, university, three other universities, and the Battelle Health and Life Sciences Global Business will share the initiative’s $72.5 million to evaluate community-based programs for their influence on childhood obesity.
The project will involve 450 overweight and obese children from Cleveland schools. Each child will be assigned to one of three interventional groups: The first group focuses on building skills and increasing “intrinsic” motivation; the second emphasizes redesigning the family environment and daily routines; and the third takes a more traditional approach, centering primarily on providing educational materials.
Workers from University Hospitals‘ Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital will provide clinical expertise for the project.
Cleveland’s childhood overweight and obesity rate is approximately 40 percent, according to Case.