JABSOM: Confronting Obesity on Several Fronts

Researchers and clinicians at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) are committed to reducing health disparities, including the higher rates of cardiovascular and metabolic disease caused by obesity. More keiki in Hawai’i are overweight than are children in other States.

The medical school received a highly competitive $12.6 million grant for a sweeping project called RMATRIX, to support interdisciplinary efforts to reduce or eliminate health disparities. The “R” in RMATRIX stands for Research Centers in Minority Institutions, which is funding the research.  MATRIX is short for Multidisciplinary And Translational Research Infrastructure Expansion.

Obesity plays a significant role in health disparities, with Asian/Pacific Island children, for example, at higher risk of being overweight. That, in turn, leads to higher rates of heart disease and diabetes. An interventional trial targeting obesity is being conducted by The Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research. JABSOM’s Department of Pediatrics, and the Hawai‘i Initiative for Childhood Obesity Research and Education (HICORE) have launched new community campaign which involves several local healthcare organizations and emphasizes ways to prevent childhood obesity.

The PILI ‘Ohana program is a partnership between 10 community-based organizations throughout the State of Hawai‘i and a team of academic researchers from the Department of Native Hawaiian Health (DNHH). Its aim is to integrate community wisdom and expertise with scientific methods to conduct research on health disparities, with a specific emphasis on obesity, in Native Pacific populations.

The Nation’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) has just issued a report which brings several of the latest findings about obesity in the United States into focus.

Also, The Hawai’i Medical Journal has a special edition about obesity in Hawai’i.
Click here to download the special issue.

Our Photo isCourtesy of the Hawai’i State Department of Health