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Seed Grant Awardee: Chong Lee

Combined Impact of Physical and Positive Mental Training on 3-Month Weight Change in Obese Children

Chong Lee | College of Health Solutions

To address the childhood obesity epidemic, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and National Institute of Health (NIH) have recommended a comprehensive, intensive behavioral intervention program that focuses on weight loss through multiple components approach. However, its general applicability is limited due to complex treatment guidelines with scant evidence of long-term weight loss effects. Currently, effective weight loss programs for obese children are limited. The overall aim of the proposed project is to develop intervention methods that improve weight loss among obese children. Most weight loss programs in obese children have focused on improving physical activity and healthful eating, which produces significant short-term weight loss. 

On average, obese children tend to lose about 2.5 kg of body weight for 6-months of intervention, although they tend to regain about 100% of their initial weight loss after 1-year of intervention. The major reason for this failure in weight maintenance remains unclear, but it may be due to unintentional weight loss induced by low self-efficacy or boredom with the weight loss programs. There is evidence that self-efficacy, an individual’s judgment regarding his/her abilities to perform certain behaviors, plays an important role in the success of short-term and long-term weight loss in adults. Although the impact of self-efficacy on weight loss in obese children remains unexplored, enhancing self-efficacy can be a key plausible solution for short-term and long-term weight loss in obese children.

Thus, we propose to test the impact of self-efficacy on weight loss in obese children. We have identified an innovative approach (Olympic-style Taekwondo, TKD) that improves both self-efficacy and weight loss in obese children. The Olympic-style TKD comprises a powerful form of physical and mental exercises focusing on self-discipline training with self-respect and self-efficacy, which enhances self-confidence, self-esteem, weight loss, and aerobic power. Also, compelling evidence indicates that TKD training for 3 months (3 times/week) had a significant reduction in body weight (2.4 kg) and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) (0.4%) among obese Asian children. The project aims are to test the effect of TKD training on weight loss in US obese children. We hypothesize that obese children in the TKD intervention will have a significant weight loss from baseline to 3 months and that they will have significant improvements in self-efficacy, HbA1c, and cardiometabolic risk factors (e.g., SBP, DBP, waist circumference, visceral fat, and FMD) from baseline to 3 months.

Last updated 2019.