obesity in children

Characterization of adipose progenitor cell abundance and function in healthy and obesity-related adipose tissue accumulation in children (Dr. Kathrin Landgraf-Kluge)

Obesity is characterized by the accumulation of fat mass and is often associated with adipose tissue (AT) dys-function and metabolic impairment. Expansion of AT can be achieved by an increase in adipocyte number (hyperplasia) or an increase in adipocyte size (hypertrophy) or the combination of both. Recently, the adipose progenitor cell compartment has been proposed to play an important role in healthy and obesity-related AT expansion and to be pharmacologically accessible for obesity treatment strategies.

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Epigenetic control of excess adipose tissue accumulation in children (Prof. Dr. Antje Körner)

Classical genetic approaches identifying a large number of genetic variations associated with obesity left a large proportion of the heritability of obesity unexplained. Epigenetic changes such as aberrant DNA methyla-tion and its dynamic role in regulating gene expression play a critical role in the pathology of complex disease and have been implicated in development of obesity, particularly as they link environmental factors to genetic predisposition.

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Early adipose tissue dysfunction with the development of obesity in children (Prof. Dr. Antje Körner, completed)

Clinical studies have shown that obesity and the excessive accumulation of adipose tissue develops already in childhood and is associated with metabolic and cardio-vascular diseases. Therefore, this research project ex-amines whether the alterations in the biology and functions of the adipose tissue in children are associated with the development of obesity and its associated diseases.

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Feasibility of a media-supported high-intensity interval training program for overweight and obese adolescents (Dr. habil. Susann Blüher, completed)

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) compared to endurance training leads in adults to a lower risk for cardiovascular diseases. This has not been examined for adolescents yet. Thus, this study examines the effect of HIIT in overweight and obese adolescents. The aim is to check the feasibility of a six month high-intensity interval training for overweight and obese adolescents at the age of 14 to 18. Additionally, one of the adolescent sport groups gets motivating messages via SMS and has access to a special internet portal. The participants will be examined in the beginning and at the end of the training period.

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Weight maintenance treatment approach for adolescent obesity via telephone counseling following an obesity in-patient treatment (TeAM program): a randomized controlled trial (Dr. Jana Markert / Dr. habil. Susann Blüher, completed)

The project aims to evaluate feasibility and efficacy of a weight maintenance treatment approach based on telephone counseling, and applying new media, such as tailored SMS-messages with or without access to a password-protected web-forum for interaction with other participants, for adolescent obesity in order to maintain the effects of initial weight loss programs.

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Resistance versus endurance exercise training within a standardized 1year obesity treatment program for obese children and adolescents: a feasibility study (Dr. habil. Susann Blüher, completed)

Already in children and adolescents abdominal obesity leads to a higher risk for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. In this study it is being tested which kind of physical training (strengths vs. endurance training) within a structured obesity therapy-program is more effective to reduce waist circumference and thus the health hazards. For one year 8 to 18 year-olds participate in a standardized and certified training (by med. societies). Extensive data is being collected: body parameters, laboratory tests, psychological and physical health status.

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Regulation of adipose tissue development in lean and obese children (Prof. Dr. Antje Körner. completed)

Obesity develops already in infancy and adolescence. The researchers of this study expect that modifications in adipose tissue and the biology of fat cells already take place in infancy. These modifications affect the development of obesity and its associated diseases. The scientists here examine the development and changes of adipose tissue biology and function and the hormone production of the fat cells in relation to the age and physical development of children. The results in normal weight and obese children will be compared and changes in the adipose tissue that are connected with early emergence of obesity in children will be identified. Necessary for this study is an enormous bio database of adipose tissue probes of children which exists at the University Hospital.

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Regulators of brown adipose tissue development in children (Dr. Kathrin Landgraf / Prof. Dr. Antje Körner, completed)

Humans have two different types of adipose tissue: White adipose tissue functions as a fat storage in the state of excess energy, while brown adipose tissue esp. in newborns is responsible for producing body heat by fatburning. Preliminary studies have recently shown that also adults have active areas with brown adipose tissue. In the context of this project the function and development of brown adipose tissue in children and its influences should be examined in detail. In the long term this could lead to new therapy approaches, if researchers could stimulate the development of brown adipose tissue.

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