Madrid, Dec 11 (EFE) .- Imdea Alimentación, one of the seven Imdea institutes created by the Community of Madrid with the aim of promoting R + D + i activities, has launched a pilot study on childhood obesity in six schools of the region in order to identify in 221 children of 1st and 2nd grade their genetic propensity to obesity.
The aim is to analyze the propensity to obesity, based on habits and genetics, and to design strategies for the prevention and treatment of this disease, which affects two out of every four children in Spain and whose cause is associated with an unbalanced diet. lack of exercise as to genetic factors.
Of the 221 children participating in the study – 53% boys and 47% girls – 20% are overweight, according to one of the first conclusions of the trial, which will end in 2020 and will be extended to a greater number of students and teaching centers from the next course given their “good” results.
The Minister of Education and Research, Rafael van Grieken, visited today the public school Juan Zaragüeta, one of the six centers that is collaborating for the development of this study. The work began in March with the collection of data from students -whose families have agreed to participate- and a nutrigenetic assessment that includes the measurement of body weight, blood pressure, nutritional status and dietary and health habits.
In addition, a sample of saliva has been taken with which the Imdea Alimentación specialists have carried out a genetic study. Then, for four years, the students are tracked in which they analyze how all these parameters evolve in relation to their habits and their genetics.
Teachers, parents and students of the schools studied receive healthy eating guides, lectures and conferences with guidelines for the improvement of eating habits. In this way you can compare how students evolve, both in terms of their genetics and the nutritional information received.
Guillermo Reglero, director of the Madrid Institute of Advanced Studies in Food (Imdea-Alimentación), attached to the Ministry of Education, stressed that childhood is a key stage to combat obesity and reduce its causes.
Among them, inadequate nutrition and lack of physical activity, as stressed by Elena Marcos, one of the researchers participating in the study, who has stressed that the novelty of the trial is that it takes into account genetics. EFE.