HICORE — Hawaii Initiative for Childhood Obesity Research and Education
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Major features of immunesenescence, including reduced thymic output, are ameliorated by high levels of physical activity in adulthood

08 March 2018 - "Immune profiles in 125 adults (55-79 years) who had maintained a high level of physical activity (cycling) for much of their adult lives, 75 age-mathced older adults and 55 young adults not involved in regular exercise. The frequency of naïve T cells and recent thymic emigrants (RTE) were both higher in cyclists compared with inactive elders, and RTE frequency in cyclists was no different to young adults."  

Chartbook on Health Conditions and Behaviors of Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Persons in the United States, 2014

On July 21, 2017 the CDC-National Center for Health Statistics released the Chartbook on Health Conditions and Behaviors of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Persons in the United States, 2014, The 2014 NHPI National Health Interview Survey is an unprecedented survey, establishing essential baseline information on the health conditions and behaviors of the NHPI population and select groups.

Global Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study that is now reported in the Journal offers a discouraging reminder that the global obesity epidemic is worsening in most parts of the world and that its implications regarding both physical health and economic health remain ominous.1 The study, in which researchers assembled data from 195 countries to model trends in overweight and obesity and related morbidity and mortality, showed that the prevalence of obesity has more than doubled since 1980 and is now 5% in children and 12% in adults — findings that mirror similar global trends in type 2 diabetes. Apart from a possible recent plateau in the prevalence of obesity in highincome countries, the prevalence has increased in all other sociodemographic strata.

Successful Dissemination of Fun 5 - A Physical Activity and Nutrition Program for Children

Examine the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance (RE-AIM) of an evidence-based physical activity and nutrition curriculum disseminated to after-school programs. Program components included nutrition, physical activity, and sustainability, adapted to after-school settings and disseminated across 4 years (2004–2008). The RE-AIM framework was used to evaluate dissemination quality through direct observations, surveys, and interviews. In the final year, the Fun 5 program was implemented in 90% (>22,000 students) of Hawai'i after-school sites. The Fun 5 program demonstrated promise for long-term maintenance with potential for a public health impact among Hawai`i after-school students.

AAP Endorses New Cholesterol Screening for Children

Regular cholesterol screening should be performed for children ages 9 to 11 and again for young adults ages 17 to 21, to identify early risks for heart disease, according to updated guidelines released by the NIH and endorsed by the AAP. The guidelines, which appear in the journal Pediatrics, include suggestions for improving cardiovascular health, such as regular physical activity and protection from tobacco smoke.

Hawaii Community Health Needs Assessment - Community Voices on Health

A health needs assessment compiles information about existing health issues and trends as well as resources within a community. This information can reveal disparities, gaps, prevalence of disease, and social and economic factors that create barriers to a community’s optimal health.

Community Voices on Health was commissioned by Kaiser Permanente Hawaii and includes information from health care experts, policymakers, and community members. Hundreds of individuals and dozens of social service and public health organizations contributed data, feedback and input.

Hawaii Medical Journal Childhood Obesity Special Issue

The Hawaii Medical Journal published a HICORE supplement to their July 2011 issue: 

The purpose of this supplement is to start to look at and evaluate evidence of the burden of obesity in Hawai‘i and to present potential options for the management of obesity at the community level. It represents the efforts of local researchers, it provides an excellent overview of the obesity situation in Hawai‘i, and it helps us to elucidate some of the social factors infl uencing the rate of obesity in

The Journal’s aim is to provide new scientifi c information in a scholarly manner,
with a focus on the unique, multicultural, and environmental aspects
of the Hawaiian Islands and Pacifi c Rim region.

To see the issue, click here

Journal Of Health Disparities Research and Practice

The Journal of Health Disparities research and Practice is peer-reviewed online journal that explores the problems and challenges of health disparities among the diverse populations of the United States and the world. The journal invites submission of original papers from researchers, public health practitioners, and students researching and working on health disparities solutions. Submissions are copyright protected with all rights remaining with the author. The journal publishes three times per year - Spring, Summer, and Fall.

The real cost of obesity

In its January 2011 Newsletter, Chart Focus shows how an obesity pandemic has put pressure on health care systems throughout the world. Obesity indirectly costs the United States at least $450 billion annually—almost three times the direct medical cost. The situation is comparable in other countries as well.

Sleeping in on weekends may lower obesity risk in children

January 24, 2011  A study in Pediatrics showed that sleep-deprived children with irregular sleep patterns were more than four times more likely to develop obesity and have unhealthy blood markers compared with those who got enough sleep. But data also showed that making up for lost sleep during the weekend lowered children's risk for such conditions to less than threefold. CNN/The Chart blog.

High cholesterol may resolve naturally in some children

July 19, 2010 CDC researchers followed 6,800 children in Louisiana and found high cholesterol declined over time without intervention in some children. Researchers said the study in Pediatrics indicates that doctors should use caution when considering drug therapy for children with high cholesterol.

Obese children, teens are at higher risk for GERD

July 9, 2010 A Kaiser Permanente study found that children and adolescents who are moderately obese have a 30% increased risk of developing gastroesophageal reflux disease, while those who are extremely obese have a 40% higher risk of GERD, compared with children and teens of normal weight. Helping young people control their weight may reduce or eliminate symptoms, a pediatrician and AAP spokeswoman said.

Health Affairs Issue Highlights Key Research

In its March 2010 issue, Health Affairs focuses almost exclusively on the childhood obesity epidemic and the policy approaches that could have greatest impact for helping to solve this public health crisis. The special issue, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, looks at policy changes on the local, state and federal levels. RWJF grantees authored several of the studies, including: "Are 'Competitive Foods' Making Our Children Fat?" by Nicole Larson and Mary Story, who confirm what many people have long suspected-a child's risk for obesity increases when unhealthy, high-calorie foods are available in school stores and vending machines.

High-Calorie Drinks Decrease Dramatically in U.S. Schools

Full-calorie sodas and other sugary drinks are disappearing from the lunch lines, vending machines and store shelves of schools, according to a new report on the impact of a 2006 agreement that sought to create a healthier school environment by reducing the number of beverage calories available to children during the school day. The final report on the impact of the Alliance School Beverage Guidelines shows that since the start of the 2004-05 school year: the number of beverage calories shipped to schools has dropped by 88 percent; the overall volume of full-calorie carbonated soft drinks shipped to schools has dropped by 95 percent; and, nearly 99 percent of the public and private schools and school systems measured have come into compliance with the agreement.

Is There an Obesity Tipping Point in Infancy?

If there is any reason for hope among the data on national obesity rates in the United States (the numbers should be familiar by now: two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of children are overweight or obese in this country), it is that they finally seem to be leveling off. According to the most recent published reports by epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), long-term federal obesity data suggest that after decades of ballooning in size, American adults and children may have gotten about as fat as they're ever going to get. Of course that still means that the majority of Americans are currently overweight and at high risk of chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

Frequent Snacking Directly Related to Childhood Obesity Rise

U.S. children eat an average three snacks a day on top of three regular meals, a finding that could explain why the childhood obesity rate has risen to more than 16 percent, according to researchers. Children snack so often that they are "moving toward constant eating," Carmen Piernas and Barry Popkin of the University of North Carolina reported. More than 27 percent of calories that American kids take in come from snacks, Piernas and Popkin reported in the journal Health Affairs. The researchers defined snacks as food eaten outside regular meals. The studies will help fuel President Barack Obama's initiative to fight obesity in childhood, something Obama's wife, first lady Michelle Obama, notes could drive up already soaring U.S. healthcare costs.

Research Shows Probiotics May Reduce Risk of Childhood Obesity

A study that has been published in the British Journal of Nutrition discovered that expectant mothers who consume probiotic foods while pregnant may reduce the chances of their offspring having weight issues later in life. Researchers say women who consumed probiotics during their first trimester were less likely to suffer from gestational diabetes, which can result in delivering an overweight baby. Overweight infants may also suffer from excess insulin and be at risk for becoming obese or developing type 2 diabetes during adulthood, according to the American Diabetes Association. In the study, 256 women in their first trimester of pregnancy either received the probiotics Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium lactis or did not. Researchers found that probiotic intervention reduced the frequency of gestational diabetes, which happens when the body is unable to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy.

Blood pressure in obese children may vary during day

Pediatric researchers said obese children who have normal blood pressure readings during a clinic visit may be hypertensive during a 24-hour monitoring period. Study authors suggested pediatricians specifically request 24-hour blood pressure monitoring for obese children.Medscape Reuters (March 26, 2010) 

Snacks are a growing force in childhood diets 

Children in 2006 consumed more snack calories per day than in 1977, with snacks accounting for 27.3% of average daily caloric intake. The study says children consume about 2,099 calories a day, 100 more than in 1977, but mealtime calorie intake is declining. Los Angeles Times (March, 2, 2010) 

Advances and Controversies in the Design of Obesity Prevention Trials

Dr. June Stevens and collegues consider several methodological issues pertinent to obesity prevention trials and express controversial their opinions on controversial points.

June Stevens, Daniel R. Taber, David M. Murray, and Dianne S. Ward, Obesity Vol. 15 No. 9 September 2007

The Promise of Prevention: The Effects of Four Preventable Risk Factors on National Life Expectancy and Life Expectancy Disparities by Race and County in the United States

Goodarz Danaei, Eric B. Rimm, Shefali Oza, Sandeep C. Kulkarni, Christopher J. L. Murray, Majid Ezzati, PLoS Medicine, www.plosmedicine.org, March 2010, Volume 7, Issue 3 

Breast-feeding can save infant lives, money

A study in Pediatrics found that if 90% of U.S. women breast-fed their babies for the first six months of life it would prevent 900 infant deaths each year and save billions of dollars. Lead author Dr. Melissa Bartick of Harvard University said the magnitude of health benefits from breast-feeding is vastly underappreciated, calling it a public health issue. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (April 5, 2010)

Community-based Approaches to Childhood Obesity: Research Progress and Future Directions

Volume 18, Issue 1s (February 2010)

American Dietetic Association: Perspectives in Practice - White Rice Sold in Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan often lacks nutrient enrichment

Rachael T. Leon Guerrero, PhD, RD; Susan E. Gebhardt, MS; Joanne Holden, MS; Mary J. Kretsch, PhD, RD; Karen Todd, MS, RD; Rachel Novotny, PhD, RD; Suzanne P. Murphy, PhD, RD, October 2009, Journal of the American Dietetic Association

Pacific Inslander CO Publications

Pacific Islands Families: Child And Parental Physical Activity and Body Size—design and methodology

Melody Oliver, Philip J Schluter, Janis Paterson, Gregory S Kolt, Grant M Schofield, The New Zealand Medical Journal, Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, NZMJ 3 July 2009, Vol 122 No 1298; ISSN 1175 8716 Page 48

Infant feeding and later obesity risk.  

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009;646:15-29.  Xhonneux A, Van Hees JN, Martin F, Stolarczyk A, Socha J, Socha P, Janas R, Pietrazek E, Verwied-Jorky S, Schiess S, Pawellek I, Handel U, Hannibal I, Fritsch M, Groebe H, Reith A, Hofmann R, Hoyos J, Goyens P, Carlier C, Dain E, Moreno VL, Riera GM, Tedeschi S, Agostoni C, Vecchi F, Verduci E.  PMID: 19536659 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Anticipatory Guidance for Prevention of Childhood Obesity: Design of the MOMS Project

Judith A. Groner, Theresa Skybo, Lisa Murray-Johnson, Patricia Schwirian, Ihuoma Eneli, Amy Sternstein, Elizabeth Klein and Gina French, University of Hawaii Publication

This article was co-written by Dr. Gina French, Associate Professor Department of Pediatrics, University of Hawaii JABSOM. It provides the background information and results of a childhood obesity prevention pilot project through anticipatory guidance during pediatric well child visits.  The results of this project formed the background to the development of the resource materials (Pediatric Obesity Prevention Handouts)  Drs. French and Louise Iwaishi developed in partnership with the Hawaii Department of Health, Healthy Hawaii Initiative (see Webcasts and Local Resources above).