Raylene Reimer, a nutrition professor at the University of Calgary in Canada, has begun a study that may find a simple fix for childhood obesity. The research involves drinking a glass of water every evening before dinner. Dissolved in the liquid is a unique fibre that could potentially help with the condition.
Reimer told the Calgary Herald that the aim of the study is to improve the body composition of the participant, which could then reset their metabolism. Further down the line, she hopes that they will be in a “healthier place” when they hit puberty.
The clinical trial experiment will occur over four months and it will involve 44 children who are classified by a doctor as obese or overweight. The ages of the children will fall between eight and 12. They will add the fibre, known as prebiotic, to their water every night and hopefully, according to researchers, it could help achieve a body weight that is healthier. Reimer explains further that a healthy body weight means a reduction in body fat and more bone and muscle mass, paving the way for a child to grow into their essential current weight.
The professor emphasizes how heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, among other diseases caused by obesity, are growing in its frequency among youth. As a result, she says, it is important to take action immediately and to find ways in lessening body fat.
Digging into the science of it all, Reimer also notes how the body strives to maintain higher weight because a new biology of the body is created by the excess of fat. As a result, when one gets older it becomes more difficult to shift their body composition and thus it is crucial to start young.
Already Reimer and researchers from the University of Calgary had conducted a previous simple fix study on prebiotic fibre in 2009 and found it helped getting back to a healthy state when adding it to the diet of obese adults. In essence, this follow-up study will act as a potential early intervention in childhood obesity, avoiding an individual from going through the alteration caused from extra body fat.
A study like this and its potential results can not be more important than now with the epidemic of childhood obesity in North America. A recent report in February did find out that there was a 43 percent drop of obese children between the ages of 2 and 5 from 2003 to 2012 in the U.S. Nevertheless, researchers from the CDC emphasize that the percentage is still high.
In Canada, reports in 2012 estimated that 31.5 percent of children aged five to 17, equal to approximately 1.6 million Canadians, are overweight or obese using measurements from the World Health Organization.
The Calgary Herald spoke to a parent of a child taking part in the trials. The parent said one of the best things about the study is its emphasis on losing fat as opposed to losing weight. It involves a simple fix that could potentially battle the condition without going through “ridiculous eating plans and calorie restriction,” methods that he says could have an effect on the self-esteem of his or any child going through childhood obesity.
By Kollin Lore