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Primary Projects

Primary Project 1

“Informing Policies to Address Childhood Obesity: A Systems Approach”

Project Leader:       

Mike Thomsen, PhD 
Professor
Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness
University of Arkansas

Mentor(s):                

Kevin Fitzpatrick, PhD 
Jones Chair in Community
University Professor
Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice
University of Arkansas

Rodolfo Nayga, PhD 
Tyson Chair in Food Policy Economics
Distinguished Professor
Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness
University of Arkansas

Dr. Thomsen will study how policy can improve childhood-obesity prevention efforts using a systems-based approach. This project will capitalize on Arkansas' unique 12-year longitudinal school-based body mass index (BMI) dataset, allowing researchers to track childhood weight status from kindergarten through 10th grade. His team will study how children's proximity to food stores, restaurants and playgrounds affect obesity, while also examining the effectiveness of existing school-based interventions.

Primary Project 2

“Breakfast, Energy Metabolism, Protein Turnover, and Skeletal Muscle Health in Children”

Project Leader:       

Jamie Baum, PhD 
Assistant Professor
Department of Nutrition
Division of Agriculture
University of Arkansas

Mentor(s):                 

Kevin Fitzpatrick, PhD 
Jones Chair in Community
University Professor
Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice
University of Arkansas

Robert Wolfe, PhD 
Director, Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity
Jane and Ed Warmack Chair in Nutritional Longevity
Professor
Department of Geriatrics, College of Medicine
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Dr. Baum will determine if eating breakfast proteins improves metabolism, energy balance and skeletal muscle health in obese school-age children. The project's foundation lies in the concept that obesity is primarily caused by a mismatch in energy intake and energy expenditure. Researchers will test whether increasing dietary protein intake at breakfast will improve whole-body energy metabolism and give children better energy balance.

Primary Project 3

“Assessment of Oxidative Capacity in Obese Children”

Project Leader:      

Eugenia Carvalho, PhD, MSc 
Instructor
Department of Geriatrics, College of Medicine
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Mentor(s):                 

Robert Wolfe, PhD 
Director, Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity
Jane and Ed Warmack Chair in Nutritional Longevity
Professor
Department of Geriatrics, College of Medicine
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Dr. Carvalho will look at the underlying metabolism and physiology of obesity in children to identify new markers to target therapies for children who face the highest risk for obesity. The project will be the first to evaluate obese prepubertal children to find metabolic parameters that can be used to better understand the pathophysiology behind obesity and insulin resistance in children. The research aims to see whether the proposed markers can be useful in predicting type 2 diabetes development. 

 

13 Children’s Way, Little Rock, AR 72202
501-364-3340 
CCOP@uams.edu
The Center for Childhood Obesity Prevention is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20GM109096. The content of this website and research reported in publications resulting from work performed under this Award are solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.