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Local doctor hosting study to help children lose weight

Leigh Ann Laube • Jun 14, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Dr. J. Raoul Morin has practiced pediatric medicine for 42 years. Only since the 1990s has he seen an increase in the number of overweight and obese youngsters.

In his Kingsport practice, Clinchfield Pediatric & Behavioral Health, 90 percent of his patients are from low income (Medicaid) families, and 45 percent of them are morbidly obese.

“This is the first generation that will not outlive their parents,” he said. “The reason is type 2 diabetes. ... Morally, I really felt like I need to take a stand about this.”

In an attempt to improve children’s health and wellness by focusing on dietary changes and exercise, Morin, in conjunction with Xooma Worldwide of Hampton, Va., will host a study to help these children lose weight and improve their eating habits.

He will host a kick-off event for the study at 1 p.m., Saturday, at Clinchfield Medical Center, 698 Clinchfield St. in Kingsport. He already has some participants, ages 6 to 18, but needs more to fill the 30 available slots. The study will start on Saturday and will continue until Aug. 15.

Morin will evaluate the effects on weight loss by drinking an alkaline water product called Xtreme X20. Every sachet of X20, which is added to bottled water, contains calcium, magnesium and more than 70 naturally occurring trace elements derived from an ocean source found near the Okinawan Islands.

Morin’s study will follow three groups of 10 children each. The first group will include children with a body mass index (BMI) in the 99th percentile or greater who take Metformin for type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. These children will drink four bottles of water a day containing Xtreme X20.

The second group will include children with a BMI in the 95th to 99th percentile who are not on Metformin but who are considered pre-diabetic. These children will also drink four bottles of water a day containing X20.

The final group, the placebo group, includes children with a BMI in the 85th to 95th percentile. The placebo children will drink four bottles of water each day with nothing added.

As part of the study, Morin said, participants will be asked to refrain from drinking sodas, and parents will be asked to keep a food journal for their kids.

“We will check them every two weeks for fasting blood sugar, weight, abdominal girth, percent body fat and percent muscle mass,” he said.

At Saturday’s kick-off, Morin will introduce the study and discuss the problem of obesity in children. Holston Medical Group dietitian Jennifer Walker will discuss 5210 nutrition and fitness program. Other guest speakers will include Charlie Morgan, head basketball coach at Dobyns-Bennett High School, Physical Therapist Lance Ellis, Joe Gonzales and Charlene McGough.

For more information about the study or to enroll your child, call Morin at 378-6202 or 963-1075, or send e-mail to rmorinmd@gmail.com.

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