UNC research leads to tools to help fight child obesity

At a time when one in three U.S. children is overweight or obese, Dr. Eliana Perrin has dedicated her research to helping fellow pediatricians and parents "tip the scales" in a healthier direction.

Dr. Eliana Perrin shows a color-coded body mass index (BMI) chart.

“Childhood overweight and obesity is putting today’s youth on a trajectory to becoming the first generation to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents,” said Eliana Perrin, MD, MPH, a leading authority in the prevention of obesity in children, who conducts her research out of the UNC Department of Pediatrics.

Led by Dr. Perrin, UNC’s work in this field focuses on factors that influence a family’s ability to help their children maintain healthy lifestyles. Dr. Perrin and her team have investigated the benefits of body mass index (BMI) screening, barriers to physicians’ use of appropriate methods for obesity prevention and treatment, and the relationship between culture and obesity. They manage several grants for studies investigating social factors throughout North Carolina that impact obesogenic culture.

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