Page last updated at 13:26 GMT, Thursday, 2 October 2008 14:26 UK

City to lead child obesity study

Overweight child
Researchers hope to recruit 33 volunteers aged four to eight

Glasgow will be at the forefront of one of the largest ever Europe-wide studies of childhood obesity.

Researchers from Glasgow University hope to recruit 33 young volunteers, aged between four and eight, for the preliminary phase of the trial.

The five-year study will look at the diet and lifestyle of more than 17,000 children from 10 countries.

It aims to identify factors which lead to childhood obesity and develop new ways of combating the problem.

The initial phase of the study is being led by Dr Yannis Pitsiladis, from Glasgow University's faculty of biomedical and life sciences.

'Recommended guidelines'

He said: "Obesity is one of the major healthcare challenges facing the western world today. As we eat more and exercise less, our body fat increases, storing up problems for the future.

"To stop the epidemic of diet and lifestyle-induced morbidity in European children, action needs to be taken.

"We would encourage parents who want to find out more about their child's health to volunteer for this.

"The study will provide a comprehensive measurement of the child's physical activity levels and body composition allowing us to assess and advise personally whether a child meets the government recommended guidelines."

A total of 23 organisations will be involved in gathering data for the Europe-wide study.

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