About Exergaming for Health
This ia a 10-week program for overweight/obese children that takes a unique approach to give kids the tools needed for healthy lifestyle changes. It takes the attraction kids have for videogame technology to engage them in physical activity and pairs this with educational offerings about nutrition, lifestyle behaviors, family dynamics, self-esteem and body image.
This research study will compare results of two different weight management interventions: Exergaming for Health, a multi‐faceted weight management program for obese children and more traditional nutritional education classes.
Participants should be overweight children who are 8 to 12 years of age with a BMI of 85% or greater. There is no cost incurred for enrolling in this research project. The children should not have any medical or psychiatric conditions which would preclude their ability to participate in educational classes and moderate intensity exercise, nor should they be taking medications which influence their weight positively or negatively. Enrollment will require a written medical clearance from your primary care physician.
Children will be randomly assigned to the Exergaming for Health program or to nutrition and behavior management classes at a 2:1 ratio. The nutrition/behavior class group will be wait‐listed for 6 months after which they may participate in the exergaming program. They will undergo 10 weekly information based nutrition and behavior management classes, followed by four monthly maintenance sessions during the 6 month wait‐listed time frame.
The Exergaming for Health group will participate in 10 weekly 2‐hour sessions at the Peoria Riverplex, our local indoor park district recreation center. The program curriculum comprises: five 1‐hour classes taught by a licensed dietician addressing healthy food choices, portion sizes and overcoming barriers to healthier eating; five 1‐hour classes taught by a licensed counselor addressing psychosocial aspects of overweight such as behavior change and goal setting, positive self‐esteem and body image, healthy expressions of emotions and family communication; five 1‐hour facilitated exergaming sessions and five 1‐hour combined exergaming/traditional exercise sessions (e.g. dodgeball, yoga, jazzercise, bodypump, walk/run on a track). There will also be four monthly maintenance meetings following the intensive phase of the program.
We will require 6 months of participation from our two intervention groups and availability for measurements and administration of questionnaires after 1 year from enrollment. We will measure weight, height, blood pressure, heart rate waist circumference and cardiovascular fitness at the start, 10 weeks and 6 months and 12 months of the project. We will also request completion of questionnaires reflecting the child's nutrition, screen time behaviors, attitudes about physical activity at the start, 6 months and 12 months of the project. We will measure activity levels with a pedometer during week one, week 24 and week 52 of the study. Our first group of subjects began in April 2011 and our goal is to complete seven groups of 140 participants over a 2-year period.
Contact us to see if your child would be eligible to enroll.
Amy Christison, M.D.
Alexandra Aguilar, M.D.