An Integrated Approach to Prevention of Obesity in High Risk Families
L. Liang, Ph.D.
Department of Computer Science and Information
In recent years, overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions in the United States. The proportion of adults who are overweight increased substantially between 1980 and 2002. By 2002, 65% of U.S. adults (20-74 yrs of age) were overweight and 31% were obese. Likewise, obesity has become the most prevalent nutritional disease of children and adolescents. Children from low socio-economic status and racial/ethnic minority groups tend to have higher rates of obesity in comparison to other groups. Among adults, obesity rates are about 28% for men regardless of racial/ethnic group membership. Adult women have higher rates of obesity than males. Obesity rates are higher among Hispanic women (39%) than White women (31%) and even higher (50%) among African-American women. It is well known that chronic disease risks increase with increasing body weight.
In participation of this multi-state project, Professor Lily Liang’s (Department of Computer Science and Information Technology) research team develops fuzzy-set-theory-based methodologies for the measurement of behavioral differences to identify key behaviors in childhood obesity. The identified behaviors will be used by health and nutrition professionals on this project team to develop an integrated strategy for childhood obesity prevention.
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