Research Presented at American College of Sports Medicine Conference Offers New Method to Study Childhood Obesity Patterns

Body Monitoring Technology from BodyMedia, Inc., Can Help Shed Light on Behavior and Lifestyle Patterns that Contribute to Childhood Obesity

Jun 01, 2011, 10:13 ET from BodyMedia, Inc.

DENVER, Colo., June 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As leaders in the Sports Medicine and Fitness arena gather this week in Denver, Colorado at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Conference to discuss advances in health and fitness, new research is emerging out of the conference that could shed some light on prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.

Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2-19 are considered obese – a number that has tripled since 1980 (1).  The need for accurate assessments of the role physical activity and energy expenditure play in childhood obesity and prevention is integral to the dialogue.

During the conference, researchers from Iowa State University shared the results from a new clinical study that illustrate the value wearable body monitoring devices (BodyMedia Armbands) can provide in studying physical activity behavior patterns that could be precursors for addressing childhood obesity.

The study, Validation of Pattern-Recognition Monitors in Children Using the Doubly Labeled Water Method, helps to address a longstanding challenge of assessing physical activity and energy expenditure in children. This study is among the first to use the doubly-labeled water method (the industry gold standard) to evaluate the validity of body monitoring devices in children.  Conducted through the Nutrition and Wellness Research Center at Iowa State University by Dr. Gregory J. Welk, the study demonstrates how data collected through newer monitoring technology can provide accurate estimates of energy expenditure in children under free living conditions.

"Assessing physical activity is inherently challenging, but it is particularly challenging in children due to unique movement patterns and variability in growth and maturation. The unique aspect of the BodyMedia devices is that they include multiple channels that enable the monitor to provide more accurate estimates," stated Dr. Welk. "A lot of kids' movements are complex and sporadic (e.g. skipping, jumping, climbing), and these movements are particularly difficult to assess with other subjective or objective instruments. The availability of accurate monitoring technology will greatly enhance research aimed at obesity prevention and treatment."

During the study, the participants wore two versions of the BodyMedia Armband, the SenseWear Pro3 and the recently available SenseWear Mini, over the course of two weeks under free living conditions. The BodyMedia Armbands gather information about the wearer using multiple sensors to measure motion, sweat, and heat related variables that allow for the Armband to estimate the energy level of complex movements (common in children), previously difficult to gauge.

The results validated the accuracy of the technology in predicting total energy expenditure across the two week time period and showed that the newest algorithms (the calculation that predicts the values) provide the lower error rate.

About BodyMedia, Inc.

When your body talks, BodyMedia listens. BodyMedia has been unlocking and deciphering secrets of the body since 1999. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, BodyMedia is the pioneer in developing wearable body monitoring systems designed to help people lose weight, improve performance, and lead healthier lives. Our patented multi-sensor technology provides continuous body-monitoring that tracks physical activity levels, calories expended and sleep patterns.  What sets BodyMedia technology apart is our validated accuracy, our clinically proven outcomes and our FDA status as a Class II medical device. For more information, visit

(1) Center for Disease Control

SOURCE BodyMedia, Inc.