Washington University lands $14 million grant for childhood obesity study

Researchers from the school of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis will receive a $14 million grant for a family-based treatment program focused on childhood obesity, according to a press release from the school.

The grant comes from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a government-sponsored organization that funds health care research.

According to 2016 data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29.6 percent of adults in the country are considered obese. That number in Missouri is higher, at 31.7 percent.

Obesity increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and orthopedic problems, according to the CDC. A child with obesity has a high likelihood of remaining the same problem throughout adulthood.

The Washington University project will engage both the child with obesity and a parent with the same issue in an approach that’s referred to as “family-centered.” Previous small studies have shown that such treatment has reduced obesity in children and helped parents lose 20 pounds on average.

Three other organizations are also involved in this study: University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight in Itasca, Illinois.

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