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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Kamp K’aana, a 2-week residential weight management summer camp, shows long-term improvement in body mass index z scores

Author
item FARHAT, ALICIA - North Texas Food Bank
item SHARMA, SHREELA - University Of Texas Health Science Center
item ABRAMS, STEPHANIE - Children'S Gastroenterology Mcsg
item WONG, WILLIAM - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item BARLOW, SARAH - Texas Children'S Hospital

Submitted to: Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/21/2015
Publication Date: 3/1/2016
Citation: Farhat, A.E., Sharma, S., Abrams, S.H., Wong, W.W., Barlow, S.E. 2016. Kamp K’aana, a 2-week residential weight management summer camp, shows long-term improvement in body mass index z scores. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 62:491-494.

Interpretive Summary: Although many children in the United States have excess body weight which increases their risks to develop diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and liver disease, most large-scale programs to reduce body weight among children at schools and in the community have not been successful. In earlier reports, we showed that a 2-week residential summer camp program, Kamp K’aana, which was limited to children with excess body weight, was able to reduce their body weight and body fat and to improve their self-confidence and quality of life. The summer camp program included fun but challenging physical activities, healthy dietary lessons, and lessons to teach the children to be more physically active, to select more healthy foods, and ways to handle failure, anger and teasing. When we looked at the follow-up data at 11 months from 71 children who took part in the summer camp program, we learned that the summer camp program led to a decrease in the percentage of children who had excess body weight and a decrease in BMI z scores which are another measure of excess body weight. Therefore, the 2-week residential summer camp program is proven to have immediate health benefits as well as long-term benefit in body weight.

Technical Abstract: Long-term effects of Kamp K'aana, a 2-week residential weight management camp, on body mass index (BMI) measures were evaluated on 71 of 108 (66%) obese youth 10 to 14 years of age. Measures were obtained at 11-month study follow-up (n=38) or extracted from medical record (n=33). Compared with baseline, BMI increased (P<0.001), but both BMI percentile and BMI z score decreased (98.7+/-1.0 to 97.3+/-6.7 and 2.34+/-0.30 to 2.23+/-0.34, P<0.001). A decrease in BMI z score of >/=0.2 units was seen in 27% of the participants (P<0.001). The short program has sustained effect.