$5 Million to Combat Childhood Obesity
Dr. William Fraser is spearheading a major international intervention study which aims to combat childhood obesity and the ensuing cardiovascular diseases.
This study is part of the Healthy Life Trajectories Initiative (HeLTI) launched by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and implemented in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). "Childhood obesity and its consequences, including metabolic syndrome, is a problem of epidemic proportions that is affecting not only western societies but also low and middle income countries in the developing world." explained Dr. Fraser, Scientific Director of the CRCHUS, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS.
An international project
Dr. Fraser is working in partnership with a research team in China, a country where industrialization and lifestyle changes have led to an unprecedented increase in childhood obesity. In China, the prevalence of obesity among school-age children and adolescents tripled between 2002 and 2012. The Sino-Canadian Healthy Life Trajectories Initiative (SCHeLTI) will assess the impact of a set of health promotion interventions, beginning before pregnancy and continuing until the child is 5 years of age.
"We think that by adopting a healthy lifestyle before becoming pregnant, the mother and the family may be able to prevent certain metabolic disorders such as obesity that may develop in the child and that can impact on health in adulthood. The health outcomes will be analyzed using a harmonized approach across the 4 international cohorts" said Dr. Fraser.
In order to conduct this study, Dr. Fraser and his collaborators in China have obtained a 5-year, $2.5-million grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and another $2.5 million from the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).