Role of 3D Weight Progression Software in Weight Counseling to Decrease Weight-related Health Disparities Among Adolescent African-American Females

Period of Performance: 09/25/2015 - 08/31/2016

$194K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Delta Health and Wellness Consulting
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Childhood and adolescent obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States, especially among minorities. Research has repeatedly shown that African-American youth are disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic, especially African-American girls. By 2007-08, almost 30 percent of black girls were obese, the highest prevalence of any age group by gender, race or ethnicity. With statistics indicating that 50% of obese children become obese adults, related illness treatments are projected to cost close to $147 billion. For these reasons, it is imperative that health care providers, parents, and adolescent patients effectively communicate with each another in regards to the child's weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) trajectories. The only tools currently available are weight and BMI percentile charts, which require both an acceptance of these population standards and a certain level of health literacy and numeracy which make their use very limiting. This proposal describes a useful method for not only explaining growth trends and but also monitoring weight in a busy clinical practice. It has the potential to significantly decrease the disparity observed n the obesity epidemic as well as to improve weight management counseling in and outside of the clinical setting by facilitating better knowledge sharing and improved comprehension of weight trends, health behaviors, and their impact on adolescence health. A low-cost software application is proposed to equip providers with the ability to immediately demonstrate prediction of future weight gain and provide a better understanding of how personal behaviors directly result in changes in weight and BMI change. The SBIR Phase I will investigate the technical merit and feasibility of the software application.