D'Youville to study dairy, weight in youth

June 19, 2013 Updated Jun 19, 2013 at 7:15 AM EDT

By Tracey Drury, Buffalo Business First

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D'Youville to study dairy, weight in youth

June 19, 2013 Updated Jun 19, 2013 at 7:15 AM EDT

D'Youville College's new Center for Health Behavior Research has received a grant to study the impact of dairy consumption on weight change in youth.

Brian Wrotniak, associate professor of physical therapy and director of the new center, received the $60,525 research grant from the U.S. Dairy Research Institute.

Launched in January, the center will conduct research on current and emerging child health problems locally, nationally and globally. The new grant builds on Wrotniak's prior work on nutrition and epidemiology transitions related to the development of obesity in adolescents in Botswana, Africa.

Wrotniak's team will conduct secondary analyses of data collected from youth who participated in two family-based behavioral obesity studies funded by the National Institute of Health. The preliminary work was completed while Wrotniak was completing a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric epidemiology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Others working on the project include Lesley Georger, associate professor of mathematics; and two of Wrotniak's colleagues in Philadelphia.

Previous research has shown nearly 80 percent of adolescents aged 9-18 are not consuming the daily recommended calcium requirement. And though there has been increasing interest in the role of dairy in obesity management, not much research has been done on the types of products consumed and how that relates to weight changes in children, Wrotniak said.