Exercising to Prevent Adolescent Obesity and Diabetes

Healthy, Well-Nourished Population
Research Year: 
2002
Issue: 

Physical inactivity is a risk factor for obesity and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) in children and adults. Physical activity declines dramatically in girls more so than boys, during and after puberty, and this decline is associated with greater adolescent obesity and on earlier onset of NIDDM. There is a need for physical activity programs designed to suit the unique interests and needs of adolescent girls. At the University of Arizona, investigators in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, together with colleagues in the Colleges of Medicine, Public Health and Education, in partnership with investigators at six other universities (Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, University of Minnesota, University of South Carolina, Tulane University, San Diego State University), are working together to develop and test a comprehensive physical activity program tailored specifically to the interests of adolescent girls.

Description of Action: 

Physical inactivity is a risk factor for obesity and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) in children and adults. Physical activity declines dramatically in girls more so than boys, during and after puberty, and this decline is associated with greater adolescent obesity and on earlier onset of NIDDM. There is a need for physical activity programs designed to suit the unique interests and needs of adolescent girls. At the University of Arizona, investigators in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, together with colleagues in the Colleges of Medicine, Public Health and Education, in partnership with investigators at six other universities (Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, University of Minnesota, University of South Carolina, Tulane University, San Diego State University), are working together to develop and test a comprehensive physical activity program tailored specifically to the interests of adolescent girls.

Impact: 

More than 1,800 girls participated in Phase I, including 310 girls in Tucson, in studies designed to test intervention activities and develop measurement protocols. Girls took part in dance and drama, ethnic dance, Jazzercise, and other girl-friendly activities, and a new equation was developed for estimating body composition in Anglo, Hispanic and African-American girls. In phase II, approximately 3,000 girls in six cities will participate in innovative activity programs at school and in the university. If successful, it is expected that schools and communities nation-wide will adopt this one-of-a-kind program developed specifically for adolescent girls.

Funding Agencies: 

The University of Arizona

Conact Name: 
Scott Going
Contact E-mail: 
Contact Address: 

Department of Nutritional Sciences

The University of Arizona

238 Shantz Bldg.

Tucson, AZ 85721

Tel.: (520) 621-4705, FAX: (520) 621-8170