Penn Partnership Designed to Eliminate Childhood Obesity Takes First Prize in Pediatric Conference Contest

PHILADELPHIA — Students from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing Pediatric Acute/Chronic and Oncology Nurse Practitioner program earned first place for their research poster at the 24th Annual Pediatric Nursing National Conference in Las Vegas.

Megan Sounders-Zobian and Rebecca Hogan presented the posters at the national conference, with two students from Sayre High School in West Philadelphia, Princess Carter and LaQuan Williams. The poster session featured research and clinical posters selected from peer-reviewed abstract submissions and gave conference attendees an opportunity to discuss research findings and clinical and educational programming.

For the past three years, this team of students, under the guidance of Penn Nursing faculty, has evaluated children in the Beacon after-school program at Sayre to assess growth and diabetes risk factors in children in the community. The Sayre project provides nutrition education and a dance program designed to increase physical activity.

“Working with the community to educate families about childhood obesity is the key to curbing the epidemic,” said Terri Lipman, a professor in Penn Nursing who has supervised the project, funded through Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships.

Last year, 34% of the children assessed in the program were identified as being at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

“Obesity and Type 2 diabetes disproportionately affect minority, urban populations, and our goal is to implement culturally appropriate assessments and interventions by collaborating with the community,” Lipman said.